Shiv Sena supremo 'rues' missed chance

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wrote in his newspaper that his partymen would have been far more harsher than the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in dealing with Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi, and would have ‘roasted’ him for hurting Marathi pride.

In an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, Thackeray said though elected from Maharashtra, Azmi took the oath as legislator in Hindi, and therefore he was beaten by the MNS lawmakers. Stressing that the Sena was born on the issue of Marathi pride, Thackeray said that in the past the Shiv Sena has carried out many such campaigns against the use of Hindi and English in the state legislature.

“If somebody like Azmi had come in (Sena legislator) Diwakar Raote’s hands, he would have made a ‘tandoori’ out of him, and removed his skin,” the editorial declared. “That (Marathi pride) has been the Shiv Sena’s philosophy always and would also remain in the future,” he said.

Thackeray, however, lashed out at the MNS for the violent behaviour of its legislators inside the assembly and said nobody can support the violence and pandemonium created by them in the Assembly on Monday. Clearly, had the mayhem been created by the Sena legislators, Thackeray Sr might have justified it and even welcomed it, but his pain for having missed the opportunity was clearly evident in his editorial.

Azmi was acidic in his reaction to Thackeray’s views. “He is approaching the last stages of his life and has lost his mental balance.... In fact, despite all his efforts the Shiv Sena could not come to power again and he is feeling very upset, so he talks anything,” Azmi said.

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