Dissident Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Monday slammed the Uddhav Thackeray camp for “sitting in the cabinet with Chhagan Bhujbal” who had once arrested the Maharashtra chief minister’s father and Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray.
“Do you not feel any pain while sitting in the cabinet with Chhagan Bhujbal who arrested Hindu Heart Emperor Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray? This question has been asked by Subhash Sabne. After the arrest of Balasaheb, Sabne was suspended for a year,” tweeted Shinde.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal was the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra when Bal Thackeray was arrested in 2000.
Bhujbal, who joined the Shiv Sena in the 1960s, soon rose to prominence after getting elected as the city’s mayor. He was elected to the Maharashtra assembly from the Mazgaon constituency for the first time in 1985.
However, upset at Bal Thackeray appointing Manohar Joshi opposition leader in the state assembly, Bhujbal quit the Sena and joined the Congress after engineering a defection. He became a minister in the Congress government but lost the next assembly election in 1995. He soon grew close to then Congress leader Sharad Pawar and was made opposition leader in the Legislative Council. The association continued as Pawar made Bhujbal the first state president of his new party — Nationalist Congress Party — after quitting the Congress.
The Congress-NCP formed the government after the 1999 assembly elections and Bhujbal became deputy chief minister. In 2000, he got Bal Thackeray arrested in connection with a case against Sena mouthpiece Saamana related to the 1992-93 riots.
Link With Dawood Ibrahim
Earlier on Sunday, Shinde wondered how could Bal Thackeray’s party could support the people having a direct connection with Dawood Ibrahim who was responsible for killing innocent Mumbaikars by triggering bomb blasts.
He said the banner of revolt was raised by him and other MLAs to protest against such support and he doesn’t care for his life in the bid to save Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena.
Shinde’s tweets on Sunday night are an apparent reference to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister Nawab Malik who is in jail in connection with a money laundering case allegedly involving relatives of Dawood Ibrahim.
The tweets are also seen as a reply to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut who had termed Shinde and other rebel MLAs “bodies without souls” which will be sent to the morgue. “How can Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena support those who have a direct connection with Dawood who killed innocent Mumbaikars by carrying out Mumbai bomb blasts? We are taking this step to oppose this; Don’t care if this step leads us to the brink of death,” Shinde tweeted in Marathi.
In another tweet, the senior Shiv Sena leader said they will consider themselves fortunate if they die while saving Shiv Sena and the ideology of Bal Thackeray. Shinde had tagged his tweets to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s Twitter handle. Earlier in the day, Raut had termed Shinde and other rebel MLAs as “bodies without souls” which will be sent to the morgue.
“We have learnt a lesson on whom to trust….These are the bodies whose souls have died. Their mind is dead….40 bodies will come from Assam and will be sent directly to the morgue for postmortem,” Raut had said in an apparent reference to the number of MLAs camping in Guwahati with Shinde while addressing Sena cadres.