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Fadnavis accuses Wadettiwar of speaking Pakistan’s language, questions Uddhav’s silence

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on May 7 accused Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar of echoing Pakistan’s rhetoric, following the latter’s recent remarks that he is a police officer affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, not the slain terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who killed the then Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief. Hemant Karkaré. Mr. Fadnavis also questioned the silence of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over Mr. Wadettiwar’s statements. “Why is Uddhav Thackeray remaining silent regarding Wadettiwar’s statement about Karkare? He asked.

M. Wadettiwar, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, claimed that Karkare, who headed the ATS during the 26/11 terror attack, was not killed by Kasab but by a policeman linked to RSS. He made the remarks while criticizing BJP’s Mumbai North-Central candidate Ujjwal Nikam, who served as special public prosecutor in the 26/11 trial.

Mr. Fadnavis accused the Congress leader of speaking the language of Pakistan and claimed that while the entire country supported Mr. Nikam, the Congress supported terrorist Ajmal Kasab. “Mr. Wadettiwar is speaking the language of Pakistan by saying that Ajmal Kasab did not kill Hemant Karkare. The entire country was with the Nikam, while the Congress was with the terrorist Ajmal Kasab,” the BJP leader claimed .

“Muslims benefited”

Furthermore, Mr. Fadnavis also rejected the Congress’ allegation that the country was heading towards a dictatorship, citing the dictatorship experienced in 1975, when the entire opposition was imprisoned for two years. He criticized those who accuse his government of dictatorship, saying that minorities and Muslims have benefited the most from the social programs of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. “People who have dictatorship in their blood accuse us of the same thing. Minorities and Muslims have benefited the most from the Modi government’s social programs. Mr. Modi believes in giving all benefits to the poor. The Congress is pursuing divisive politics and the country has already faced divisions because of this,” he said.

Mr. Fadnavis also alleged that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Mr. Thackeray had planned to arrest him and had even roped in a Mumbai police commissioner to execute the plan.

Shinde Sena MP joins BJP

Meanwhile, Rajendra Gavit, MP of Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, joined the BJP on Tuesday in the presence of Mr. Fadnavis. Mr. Gavit, an outgoing MP from Palghar Lok Sabha seat, was earlier a Congress member and a minister in the Congress-NCP alliance government.

He first became an MP in 2018 from Palghar in a by-election on a BJP ticket. In 2019, the undivided Shiv Sena claimed the seat with Mr. Gavit as its candidate, and he retained it. Following the Shiv Sena’s split in 2022, he joined the faction led by Mr. Shinde.

As part of the Mahayuti seat-sharing deal, the BJP chose Hemant Savara as its candidate for the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency.

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