'I challenge Amit Shah': Uddhav Thackeray dares BJP on civic, state elections
Mumbai/IBNS: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray challenged Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s chief strategist Amit Shah in both civic and state assembly elections hours after Sharad Pawar claimed to beat the BJP in panchayat elections on behalf of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
"We also know kushti (wrestling). We will show you who is really powerful," he said.
Thackeray, whose government was toppled by the rebellion of current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, with help from the BJP, also accused Shah of instigating communal polarisation.
"I challenge Amit Shah -- tell all your chelas (disciples) sitting here to hold the BMC election in a month. And if you have the guts, hold the Assembly elections at the same time," Thackeray said at a meeting called to take stock of preparations for Mumbai civic polls.
"Amit Shah has asked his party to put the Shiv Sena in its place in the Mumbai civic polls. I dare you to try it. Shiv Sena's relationship with the city is unbreakable and we are deeply connected with the day-to-day life of ordinary Mumbaikars," he added.
In a further challenge for Shah, he said: "I challenge Amit Shah -- we will fight against all your tactics. If you play the Hindu-Muslim card, let me tell you the Muslims are with us. Even among Hindus, everyone, Marathi or non-Marathi, all are with us... Your policy of divide and rule won't work here."
The elections to the Brihanmumbai Corporation, the richest civic body in the country controlled so far by the Shiv Sena, is the next big challenge for the BJP.