Condemning the controversial statement reportedly made by BJP MLC Prasad Lad on demolishing the Shiv Sena Bhavan, Shiv Sena said in its editorial Saamana on Monday, 2 August, said, “The end is near for the BJP in Maharashtra because of the way they are behaving.”
This comes a day after Maharshtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray made a veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and had said, “Nobody should speak the language of slapping us as we will give back such a tight slap that the other person will not be able to get back on his feet,” news agency PTI reported.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders got into damage-control mode after Lad’s comments.
WHAT HAD PRASAD LAD SAID?
While addressing party workers on Saturday, 31 July, at BJP’s office in Mahim, a stronghold of the Sena, Lad had said “Whenever I come here a huge police force is deployed. The Shiv Sena fears we will demolish their Sena Bhavan. Well, if the time comes, we can do that too,” Indian Express reported.
His comment triggered outrage by the Shiv Sena and cautious reactions from the BJP.
Following statements from both sides, Lad issued a video statement on Saturday and was quoted as saying, “I have the highest regard for the late Bal Thackeray and see Sena Bhavan as a sacred abode. How can I speak against the Sena Bhavan? What I meant was that the BJP is a major power and it will prove its might against political rival Sena in the upcoming BMC polls.”
""Yesterday our office was being inaugurated in Mahim. I had received phone calls from many police personnel who requested that Nitesh Rane and I shouldn't go there or at least not take out a rally if we go. In my address, I had said that when we come to Dadar-Mahim, then such huge Police security is deployed here as if we are going to attack Shiv Sena Bhawan. I have apologized for the statement."" - Prasad Lad, as quoted by ANI
'NOT A PART OF BJP CULTURE': DEVENDRA FADNAVIS
A day after Lad’s remarks, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday was reported as saying, “We don’t believe in ‘tod-phod’ politics. It is not part of BJP culture…We don’t attack anybody first. But if somebody attacks us, we don’t take it lying down. It is countered effectively.”
Further, Fadnavis tried to put an end to the matter saying, “The issue is over for us. Lad has already clarified his stand.”
'WE HAVE STARTED SLAPPING BACK': CM THACKERAY
Speaking at the inauguration of a redevelopment project, Thackeray referred to his three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government as a 'triple seat' government, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, and added that it was capable of weathering any crisis in the state.
In an attack on BJP, Thackeray said, “We're now used to hear criticism but we're not scared of criticism anymore...We've started responding well and strongly to those criticisms, we have started slapping back. We'll give such tight slaps, that the other person will never get up.”
'THE END IS NEAR': SAAMANA
Meanwhile, on Monday, Shiv Sena said in its editorial Saamana, "The end is near for the BJP in Maharashtra because of the way they are behaving. Whosoever has looked scornfully towards Shiv Sena Bhavan, their leaders and their party were washed away in the gutters of Worli."
The editorial added, “'Shiv Sena Bhawan Todenge' such talk by some degenerate BJP people and clapping on it by Marathi leaders sitting on stage, is this not a traitor to Marathi pride.”
“Many people having political differences with Shiv Sena, challenged Shiv Sena from time to time. But Shiv Sena stood on those challenges, however, those political opponents never talked about demolishing Shiv Sena Bhavan”, ANI reported.
Th editorial further said, “Shiv Sena Bhavan has statue of Balasaheb Thackeray as well as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His saffron flag is hoisted at the Bhavan. This perturbs some people, that is why something destructive like the vandalism of Shiv Sena Bhavan was said.”
Raut, who is the executive editor of Saamana, attacked the BJP saying that it was 'once a party of loyal workers, connected to the grassroot. There was no place here for outsiders or the degenerates. But now people with original ideology of the party are pushing forward lowly people. That is why the end of the party is nearing'.
Today, Raut was reported as saying, “BJP can never think of attacking Shiv Sena Bhavan. These people are not from BJP. There are some outsiders, some export-import material. These people will take down BJP in Maharashtra. We don't accept this apology,” ANI reported.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and Indian Express)
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