The Maha Vikas Aghadi, even though with a Shiv Sena CM at the helm, is anything but Sena controlled. With the alliance partner NCP holding the reins, Shiv Sena has resorted to peddling Pawar’s propaganda in whatever means it sees feasible. In the latest, the Sena has used its mouthpiece, ‘Saamna’, to convey its desire of having Sharad Pawar as the chairman of UPA. This, coming from a journal which once held respect for its conveyance of unbiased news under Founder-Editor Bal Thackeray, is quite a downfall.
At a time when the rumour mills are abuzz with the news of Sonia Gandhi’s retirement next year, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar has been named as Shiv Sena’s choice for the chairperson. Using ‘Saamna’ to not just advocate Pawar’s name, but Shiv Sena has also raised questions on Rahul Gandhi’s leadership abilities.
Mocking the Gandhi family, the editorial read, “Priyanka Gandhi was detained from the streets of Delhi, Rahul Gandhi is being mocked across the country and Maharashtra govt is being stopped to perform its duties. this is not democracy.”
The editorial further made a direct attack on the grand old party and said that the “Congress-led UPA seems like an NGO right now and the parties under that do not seem to take the farmers’ protest seriously except NCP.”
Directly endorsing the NCP Supremo, ‘Saamna’ read, “Sharad Pawar has a powerful personality at the national level and even PM Modi listens and takes lessons from his experiences. Mamata Banerjee is competing alone in West Bengal and centre is trying to break her. In such a situation, there are reports that she has sought the support of the NCP chief. Now, Sharad Pawar will be visiting Bengal to meet her. This was supposed to be done under Congress but UPA is weak and has no future leader.”
Shiv Sena’s voice couldn’t have been clearer. Within a year, Uddhav Thackeray has completely washed off Bal Thackeray’s rich legacy and all but proclaimed Saamna to be a mouthpiece for Sharad Pawar. The leaders have already shown themselves to be jumping at NCP’s whims and fancies, and now it seems their newspaper is doing the same.
Further illustrating this, a few days ago, Sena leader Sanjay Raut had personally backed Pawar. He had said, “We’ll be happy if Pawar sir becomes UPA chairman. But I’ve heard that he’s personally refused it. We will support him if such a proposal comes to the fore officially. Congress is weak now so the opposition needs to come together and strengthen the UPA.”
We'll be happy if Pawar sir becomes UPA chairman. But I've heard that he's personally refused it. We will support him if such a proposal comes to the fore officially. Congress is weak now so the opposition needs to come together & strengthen the UPA: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader pic.twitter.com/3NNHEjCmPu
— ANI (@ANI) December 11, 2020
He further said, “Congress is a big party, I admit, but it could not get the role of leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. We have to strengthen the UPA. The way the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi of the Sena, NCP and Congress) in Maharashtra was formed, will there be such a formation in the country? And if yes, who will lead it? All of these are big topics… Slowly we can solve them.”
Further underling NCP sycophancy, Raut had interviewed with Sharad Pawar in July this year, to be broadcasted on Saamna’s website. Interviewing with a leader from an alliance party might seem strange, but considering Sena’s agenda to popularise Pawar, this move seems apt.
Moreover, according to sources say in January, Raut had even pitched Pawar’s name as a presidential candidate and said that he should be considered by all political parties for the 2022 presidential election.
Pawar’s ambitions to become the Prime Minister are hidden from none, and these revelations by Shiv Sena continue to ignite them.
However, to use a once-respected journal for such a petty agenda is indeed disappointing. A leading Marathi newspaper, Saamna was in some ways the window to Bal Thackeray’s mind. The party Sevaks, who lacked direct access to the leader used the paper for direction. People across from across the state revered the paper and devoured it to gain insights into the popular leader’s mind.
Bal Thackeray was fearless, straightforward and precise with his thoughts in ‘Saamna’. To see it being used to put Sharad Pawar on a pedestal would surely be making Bal Thackeray turn in his grave.
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