Mumbai will not be separated: Modi

A worker arranges flags of different political parties in Mumbai.
A worker arranges flags of different political parties in Mumbai.

Flatly rejecting allegations by various opposition parties, including former ally Shiv Sena, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  categorically ruled out separating Mumbai from Maharashtra or dividing the state.

“I can assure you that till I am in Delhi, no power on earth can split Maharashtra or separate Mumbai from the state,” Modi asserted amidst a loud applause at an election rally in the tribal district of north Maharashtra.

He said the Congress has been indulging in untruths on cotton and onion prices for the last decade or no, and now they have started spreading a new lie that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to break Maharashtra.

“Has anybody been born so far who has the courage to divide the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji,” Modi asked the gathering.

The prime minister’s statement came in the wake of apprehensions by the Congress, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Shiv Sena of a BJP’s “hidden agenda” to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra and carve out a new state of Vidarbha.

He urged the people to vote for the BJP with a full majority in the Oct 15 assembly elections to rid the state of the 15 years of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine’s misrule.

“Wait for the elections. After we come to power, we shall set right all the wrongdoings of the Congress-NCP in the matter of cotton and onion farmers owing to their faulty policies,” he said.

Continuing his ongoing tirade against the Congress, Modi asked what did the party do in the past 50 years right from panchayats to parliament.

“In the past 15 years of rule in Maharashtra, they have destroyed an entire generation of this state – no employment for the youth, no security for women, farmers suicides continue, though they ruled both the state and centre. Will you punish them now?” he said.

In a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Modi said that he had no photos to show of himself visiting poor farmers’ homes as he himself came from a very poor background.