Thackeray under attack for taking on Sachin

From the BJP, otherwise a Shiv Sena ally, to the perennially critical CPM, the entire political class said that Thackeray’s hard-hitting attack on Tendulkar was uncalled for.

In a signed, open letter to the cricketer published in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ on Monday, Thackeray said his “friendly advice” to Tendulkar was that he should “concentrate on international pitch” and stay away from politics for his “own well-being.”

The BCCI said Thackeray’s remarks were needless.
BCCI spokesperson Rajiv Shukla said: “It is completely uncalled for. They (Shiv Sena) have no business to talk like this. Tell me what crime Sachin has done? What is wrong in saying that ‘I am an Indian and Mumbai belongs to all’. No Marathi will support Shiv Sena if they talk like this.”

The BJP simply refused to side with the Shiv Sena. Party leader Arun Jaitley told reporters here: “If any Maharashtrian says he is a Maharashtrian as well as an Indian, then I find this statement absolutely correct.”

The Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said: “He (Thackeray) should be the last person to preach to a gentleman cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar.”

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said on Tweet: “On Sachin and Sena, my late dad Chandran Tharoor said in '66: 'With Maharashtra for Maharashtrians and Kashmir for Kashmiris, where is India for Indians?’”

In his ‘Saamna’ article, Thackeray said: “You are free to hit fours and sixers on the cricket field, but keep off the political pitch.”

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