Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today said those who were involved in attacks against Dalits at Bhima-Koregaon should show courage and come forward. Speaking at a function in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, the Sena chief said that some “invisible hands” had a role in playing caste politics in the state. “The Shiv Sena will not tolerate such people and their tricks of playing the caste card in the state. Those behind the attacks at Bhima Koregaon should show courage and come forward,” Thackeray said. The attack on Dalits at Bhima Koregaon on January 1 led to a statewide bandh on January 3 which turned violent at several places leading to large-scale vandalism of public property. Attacking the BJP, Thackeray said that the Sena would oppose projects like the Jaitapur nuclear power plant and the mega oil refinery in Nanar, both in Konkan’s Ratnagiri district. He claimed that the ‘Make in India’ initiative would have a devastating impact on Konkan. “Konkan chi raakh honaar asun Gujaratla vikasaachi rangoli kadhnaar aahet (While Konkan will be reduced to ashes, Gujarat will prosper),” Thackeray said.
He claimed that projects like the International Financial Services Centre and the bullet train were heading to Gujarat while projects which damage ecology such as nuclear plants and refineries were coming to the Konkan.
“While Israel is known in the world for transforming deserts into green belts, our dream of development is damaging the existing beauty. We will be known in the world for transforming natural beauty into deserts,” he said.