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Chowkidar chor hai: Uddhav Thackeray does a Rahul Gandhi to attack Modi

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Mumbai, Dec 24: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday mouthed the Congress party's oft-repeated jibe of "chowkidar chor hai" made in the context of the Rafale fighter jet deal to mount a veiled attack on his senior ally -- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Uddhav Thackeray

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly hurling the "chowkidar chor hai" (the guard is a thief) jibe at Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale deal and award of offset contracts related to the Rs 58,000-crore defence agreement with France. The government, however, has been rejecting the charges.

"The farmer told me that for the first time in his lifetime, he had seen a lime tree getting infested, which they have been using to make pesticides. I had told him that now, days have changed. Security persons have become thieves."

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"Halli paharekarich chorya karaylaa laagale aahet. (Today, security persons have themselves become thieves)," he said in Marathi.

'Paharekari' is a Marathi equivalent of the Hindi word chowkidar.

Thackeray, who has consistently attacked the Modi government on a range of issues, said he has already taken the decision on whether to form an alliance with the BJP for the upcoming General Elections.

The Sena leader, whose party is a constituent of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and state, was addressing a public rally in Solapur district.

The Sena chief in January had announced his party would contest all future Lok Sabha and assembly elections on its own.

In the last six months, the BJP leadership has been consistently stressing on an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming polls.

The Amit Shah-led party has regularly insisted that the Maharashtra-based outfit is its natural ally and they will resolve their differences amicably.

However, at the Pandharpur rally, Thackeray appeared to be in no mood to spare the lead NDA constituent.

"The BJP's perception of a 'world winner' has been shattered by the results of the assembly elections in the five states.

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"The outcome of Mizoram and Telangana assembly elections has given a clear message that voters have rejected national parties and chosen strong regional options," he said.

In the just-held polls, the BJP was ousted from power in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by the Congress, while regional parties did well in Mizoram and Telangana.

"The Chhattisgarh assembly election has also given a strong message against the BJP. People were fed up with the BJP government and hence they rejected it," said Thackeray.

He also took on the Modi government over issues like allegations of irregularities in the Rafale fighter jet deal and implementation of crop insurance scheme for farmers.

"There have been several allegations over the Rafale fighter jet deal and I do not know how the Supreme Court has given a clean cheat. But I know the Modi government has refused pay hike for jawans," the Sena chief said.

Commenting on the finalisation of seat-sharing in Bihar between the JD(U), the LJP and the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he asked chiefs of the two regional parties to clarify their stand on Ram mandir and Hindutva.

"Nitish Kumar (the JD-U chief) and (LJP president) Ram Vilas Paswan should declare their views on Ram mandir and Hindutva," the Sena leader said.

OneIndia (Oneindia News PTI inputs)

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