Sena chief Bal Thackeray Friday challenged Maharashtra Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan to prove allegations that his party had
taken Rs.5 billion from 11 corporates to scuttle the 9900-MW
Jaitapur nuclear power plant coming up in Ratnagiri district or
"You give us proof of this allegation and I am ready to quit as
Shiv Sena chief and retire from politics. If not, then you should
quit as chief minister and go home. Come on, are you ready,"
roared Thackeray, in a statement here late Friday evening, hours
after his son and party executive president Uddhav Thackeray
blasted Chavan on the same issue.
Thackeray said it is the misfortune of the state to have such a
chief minister in its golden jubilee year. Incidentally, Chavan
had won the by-election to the legislative council after Shiv Sena
declined to put up a candidate against him.
Blasting Chavan for supporting Industry Minister Narayan Rane who
first made the utterance in the state legislature last week,
Thackeray demanded evidence from both (Chavan and Rane) that his
party had got Rs.500 crore from 11 corporate houses to scuttle the
Thackeray pointed out that barely a couple of days later, Home
Minister R.R. Patil had said that there was no basis to Rane's
utterances, but later Chavan supported Rane, saying that there was
"substance" in the allegations.
"Such a dispute between two senior leaders from the state holding
responsible position in the same cabinet is unprecedented,"
"Whatever evidence you (Chavan & Rane) have in this regard, place
it before the people. If not, then both of you should quit.
However, if I am proved wrong, then I shall quit my post as Sena
chief and leave politics," Thackeray thundered.
Earlier Friday afternoon, Uddhav said said it seemed Chavan has
taken a "contract" for the Jaitapur project.
Speaking to media persons in Thane, Thackeray said that "the
manner in which the Jaitapur nuclear power project (JNPP) is being
speeded up by the state government, it appears it has taken a
contract to implement the project at all costs".
"For the government, it does not matter if people get killed or
the state gets ruined, but the nuclear power project must be
implemented. Will the CM clarify from whom he has taken a contract
for this?" Thackeray demanded.
He said it was Maharashtra's misfortune that in its golden jubilee
year, it had got a chief minister who was leveling allegations
against Shiv Sena to hide the blood-stains of Tabrez Pehekar, an
anti-Jaitapur plant activist who was killed in police firing last
This statement came in retaliation to Chavan's statement recently
that Thackeray had agreed to support the project, but backtracked
and started opposing it vehemently.