It seems that the Shiv Sena and the Indian National Congress are locked in a fierce battle over who can dig their own grave at the earliest. Seems like Shiv Sena is winning the contest hands down after the Shiv Sena-led BMC demolished a part of Kangana’s office after her comments against the party. The demolition went against the orders of the Bombay High Court and expectedly, the party and the Maha Vikas Aghadi Aaditya Thackrey could be the sole reason behind the premature demise of Maha Vikas Aghadireceived huge backlash. The incident has also resulted in the godfather of the alliance, Sharad Pawar being miffed as he publicly showed his disapproval of the Shiv Sena controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s action.
Shiv Sena has been witnessing a disastrous fall from grace as the Thackerays and the party are being universally panned after its deplorable move to demolish a part of Kangana’s office after the Bollywood actor criticised the party on social media platforms.
The backlash was so severe that even the left liberal ‘journalists’ hit out at Shiv Sena over its brazen display of vendetta politics with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar also expressing his displeasure. The fact that Pawar chose to express his displeasure publicly instead of a private conversation with Uddhav Thackeray and motormouth Sanjay Raut holds significance. The NCP wants to wash its hands off the controversy which has the potential to pull down the alliance.
Speaking to reporters, Pawar said the move by the BMC had ended up giving Kangana “unnecessary publicity”.
The NCP Chief added, “Illegal constructions not a new thing in Mumbai. But acting upon it at the backdrop of the ongoing controversy, gives rise to questions. But BMC has their own reasons and rules and they acted as per them.”
He further elaborated, “I have objection to media’s coverage. Media made these things bigger. We should ignore such things,” suggesting that though the civic body acted “as per rules”, the timing of the demolition drive had sent out a wrong message to the public.
Media reports have also claimed that Sharad Pawar yesterday night met Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut at the CM’s ‘Varsha’ residence to express his displeasure. Republic reports that Sharad Pawar labelled the BMC’s action as a ‘hasty conduct’ which would tarnish the Maharashtra government’s image. Pawar warned CM Uddhav against such ‘unnecessary dispute’.
The optics of the controversy are so bad for that it threatens to sink the entire Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the wily old Pawar is chiding Uddhav and is distancing himself from the controversy. While the NCP might be in an alliance with Shiv Sena, it wants to take no responsibility over the political hara-kiri committed by Uddhav Thackeray.
It is pertinent to note that Sharad Pawar’s grand nephew and Ajit Pawar’s son, Parth Pawar had gone against Maharashtra government’s line and publicly demanded for a CBI investigation into the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput while Sharad Pawar at that time, was strongly supporting Uddhav Thackeray.
It seems that the latest move has ended the patience of Sharad Pawar and hence is publicly castigating Uddhav and his party. Apart from Sanjay Raut, everyone knows that the alliance won’t last its term and it will be the NCP or its breakaway faction led by Ajit Pawar which will end the reign of the Uddhav Thackeray led government.
The decision to demolish a part of Kangana’s office has rubbed many the wrong way including those who never supported Kangana’s antics. The Shiv Sena’s ‘Marathi Manoos’ pride is also at stake as its core voter base would not like the party to go overboard in defending the Bollywood’s elite. The fact that Aaditya Thackeray was often snapped with various Bollywood celebrities before the pandemic further increases the problems for the Shiv Sena.
The latest controversy presents another opportunity for the Pawars and the NCP to make Uddhav Thackeray the scapegoat and make a move for the ultimate reward – the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s chair. It remains to be seen whether Sharad Pawar will choose to bide his time or go for the kill.