On September 26, former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh celebrated his 86th birthday. Since the wee hours of Wednesday, wishes had been pouring in for the two-time PM. Many politicians, celebrities and common man of the country sent their heartwarming wishes to him. But late in the evening, one long text message from Raj Thackeray caught all the eyeballs.
In his message to Dr. Singh, Raj wrote, "Today, is the birthday of our erstwhile Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. A leader who pioneered our country to a path of economic reforms and liberalisation. After the economic liberalisation that you heralded in 1991, unfortunately the very people that benefited from these reforms, chose not to acknowledge it. Today, our economy is in the hands of economically unsound leadership and thus heading to a state of anarchy. In such times, the people of India including me, definitely miss your wisdom and presence."
Thackeray further added, "In the world of politics, there is bound to be criticism and we all at some time, resorted to it. But, at the same time we have the grace to appreciate what is good. In this context, I remember Dr. Manmohan Singh’s words from one of his speeches. “History will be kinder to me” The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena wishes you a very happy birthday."
With such high praises, the MNS showed his utmost respect for the political veteran while launching an attack on present PM Narendra Modi, criticising his leadership.
The kind of words Raj Thackeray has used to praise Dr. Singh gives clear indication that he wants to sort out differences with the Congress. It is a naked truth in Maharashtra politics that in 2008, the then Congress government in the state had given free hand to Raj Thackeray to explore his violent style of politics to make division in Marathi vote bank of Shiv Sena.
Congress’s masterstroke had worked, with the party winning all 6 seats of Lok Sabha in Mumbai in 2009 and won many more seats in other parts of the state because Marathi vote bank got divided between Shiv Sena and MNS.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election, Raj Thackeray had supported Narendra Modi. But now, he is one of the most vocal critics of the Prime Minister. Since the past many months, Thackeray has been leaning towards the united opposition.
This was quite evident when he not only supported the Bharat bandh, but also took aggressive part in it. Thackeray had already called for 'Modi-mukt Bharat' and appealed all parties to come together to defeat Modi.. Many a times he had also praised Rahul Gandhi as well.
Over all, by wishing Manmohan Singh on his birthday, Thackeray has again given a signal that he is ready to join hands in the fight against Modi.
Dr. Manmohan Singh, People of India & I Miss Your Wisdom and Presence - Raj Thackeray