MNS chief Raj Thackeray led a march to the Western Railway headquarters here on Thursday to protest the recent stampede on a foot overbridge that left 23 people dead, and said he felt “betrayed” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thackeray addressed a gathering of protesters outside the Churchgate station in south Mumbai where he lashed out at Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
“It seems as if only two or three people are running the country. BJP President Amit Shah himself called their own promises ‘chunavi jumla’ (election rhetoric). Even (Union minister) Nitin Gadkari said the promise of ‘achhe din’ is like a bone stuck in the throat. It clearly means the government has failed on many fronts,” the MNS chief said.
“Modi has been lying and misleading the people of this country. Now I realise that when I visited Gujarat a few years ago at the behest of (industrialist) Ratan Tata when Modi was the CM, I was shown a misleading picture of the development there,” Thackeray said.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader, who had a good rapport with Modi and backed his prime ministerial bid in 2014, said he was angry because the country has seen very little progress in the last three years.
“I do not see any major changes in the last three years despite the government having a good mandate. We believed in him (Modi) and now we feel we have been betrayed,” he said.
Thackeray also met officials of the Western Railway and handed over a memorandum of demands, which included improvement in infrastructure and eviction of hawkers from suburban railway stations.
According to reports, the MNS chief warned the Railways to evict all hawkers from foot-over bridges across Mumbai’s suburban rail network in 15 days or face serious consequences.
Addressing a gathering of his supporters, the MNS chief said that this time the protest was peaceful but if the government fails to clear the mess in 15 days, it could turn violent. The MNS-led march disrupted traffic in various parts of South Mumbai.