In a brutal personal attack, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Narayan Rane on Monday called Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray a "buddhu" (fool) who remains caged in his home.
Rane alleged that "nobody respects him, Shiv Sena MLAs or MPs" and that Thackeray was "unfit" to be the CM with no vision for Maharashtra.
His diatribe came a day after Thackeray had slammed the BJP in the state and Centre, besides targeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and actress Kangana Ranaut without taking names.
Incidentally, Rane was a former Shiv Sena CM (1999) and later Leader of Opposition, and after his expulsion from the Sena, he joined the Congress in 2005. In 2017, he floated his own outfit, the Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP) and supported the ruling BJP, and in 2018, he became a Rajya Sabha MP and merged the MSP with the BJP.
"Uddhav lacks any qualities to become the CM... he doesn't listen to Secretaries. We can see where the state is headed whether it's the issue of farmers, agriculture, the economy, education, or the Corona pandemic," Rane alleged.
"He calls himself a 'Tiger'. He never steps out of his home. What is he, a caged tiger or one in the open? Over 43,000 people have died to Covid-19 pandemic, the highest in the country. What's he done about it?" Rane demanded.
Hitting out at Thackeray's demand for reverting back to the old taxation system as GST has apparently failed, Rane asked: "What does he know of GDP or the economy? Does he know the Constitution and the laws. The state will get it (GST dues), there can be delays... Such issues should be raised in the GST Council meetings. The state should be capable of raising own resources."
He alleged that the Shiv Sena's annual Dussehra Rally on Sunday was done with the sole aim of giving a "clean chit" to Thackeray's son and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.
Rane reiterated that both Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and his talent manager Disha Salian were "murdered".
"Let's be very clear... The CBI is still investigating the Sushant case, it has not closed the case file. Disha Salian was raped and murdered. The one minister who will go inside (jail) is the CM's son."
The former CM claimed that he was in possession of a copy of Disha Salian's autopsy report and said so far, he had not named Aditya. "Today, I am naming him as the CM gave a clean chit (Aditya) yesterday."
Rane said Thackeray had no right to speak on "Hindutva" since his party's 56 MLAs were elected in 2019, because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, otherwise he would not have managed even 25.
"Yet, later he betrayed the BJP, joined hands with the secular parties and became the CM. He is not qualified to speak about the PM's achievements. He doesn't even know what kind of language to use as CM," Rane alleged.