On April 6, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray addressed a crowd during his annual Gudi Padwa rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. Thackeray’s hour-long address was laden with attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, interspersed with video clips detailing how the ruling party has failed to deliver the promises it made before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking in Marathi, Thackeray said that throughout his political career, he had never seen anyone who could lie as much as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also played clips of Modi’s speeches from 2014, where he promised to bring black money back to the country and give a share of it to Indians who pay taxes honestly.
Thackeray also played a clip from an interview of BJP chief Amit Shah, addressing him as “Modi’s stooge”. In the interview, Shah calls the promise of Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s account a “political gimmick”.
“Everybody knows this is a way of delivering political speeches,” Shah can be heard saying in the interview. “Any recovered black money would have been utilised to make schemes for the poor and not given to people in cash.”
Thackeray told his audience that they have been “fooled and tricked” by the Modi government, and that “believing such blatant lies is why people will be stagnant, without any growth.”
In another rally on April 23 in Mumbai, Thackeray brought an entire family onstage –a family whose photograph was used by a pro-Modi Facebook page as “testimony” of poverty alleviation in the country. (The family can be seen walking to the stage at the 22-minute mark in the video of the complete address below.)