Mumbai, Mar 3 (IANS): In one of the fiercest attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said while the Centre clamped an abrupt lockdown last year and asked people to clang thalis, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government provided full meals at affordable rates to the poor, needy and migrants during the pandemic crisis.
"When people were being told to bang empty plates, we provided the poor people with full 'thalis' (plateful of meals) in the times of distress," Thackeray said, in his reply to the motion of thanks on the address of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
In his address, Koshyari had lauded the government's Shiv Bhojan Yojana launched on Jan. 26, 2020 by which over 3.15 crore thalis at Rs.5/plate have been served.
Costing the government around Rs.125-crore, the daily consumption of the affordable meals shot up from 18K to 138K, the governor noted on Monday (March 1).
Thackeray recalled how he had called up the PM after the sudden lockdown was declared in the country and later the MVA government helped transport lakhs of stranded migrants safely to their home states all over India.
"In fact, after they reached homes in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, the migrants expressed their gratitude to us for the arrangements," the CM said.
Thackeray took the opportunity to slam the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre on the issue of the farmers' agitation outside Delhi and the skirmishes on the India-China borders.
"You could put nails on roads (to quell the farmers' protest in Delhi), but you beat a retreat against China," Thackeray said sharply.
However, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis attacked the CM for raising irrelevant issues in the House and said Thackeray had insulted Indian soldiers on the borders.
"Not an inch of (Indian) land has gone. Our soldiers defended the Chinese aggressions under extreme circumstances.. Yet you make such insulting statements against them (soldiers)," Fadnavis said.