Provocative speeches hint street violence may aggravate crisis | India News

MUMBAI: Provocative speeches by Shiv Sena leaders and party rebels and reports of irate Sainiks holding anti-rebel demonstrations in several parts of the state indicate that street violence may aggravate the crisis that has wracked the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and threatens to trigger a long-drawn legal battle, said observers on Sunday.

Matoshree’s game plan is to browbeat Shinde and the 40-plus rebel MLAs and ministers into submission by using strong-arm tactics – the Sena’s USP since the 1970s. Clearly, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is eager to re-assert his authority and revamp the organisation ahead of the crucial BMC elections, observers added.
At a Sena conclave in Dahisar on Sunday, MP Sanjay Raut likened the rebels – who are cooling their heels in Guwahati – to bulls who are sacrificed to propitiate Goddess Kamakhya, Assam’s presiding deity. “We’ve sent 40 bulls to Assam to be slaughtered at the altar of Goddess Kamakhya. Their bodies will soon come to Mumbai,” he said.
Warning rebels not to mess around with Sena, Raut said, “The Shiv Sainiks proudly carry the party’s jhenda (flag) on their shoulders. However, if need arises, they will stuff the flag into their pockets and pull out the danda (stick).”
Sena minister Aaditya Thackeray too has taken to harsh words, or so it seems. Addressing a party conclave in Mahalaxmi on Saturday, Aaditya warned Shinde and his loyalists that they will have to face Sainiks when they arrive in Mumbai from Guwahati, and drive down to Vidhan Bhavan at Backbay Reclamation in south Mumbai. “They [the rebels] will have to pass through Dadar and Byculla where they will be welcomed by Sainiks and the party’s women’ wing,” he had said, suggesting that the rebels may be a taught a fitting lesson by Sainiks.
Aaditya, who has started touring Mumbai in a bid to resurrect the Sena activists’ badly bruised morale, said the rebels escaped Mumbai last week under the cover of darkness. “But my name is Aaditya, which means the sun,” he said.
However, a Sena veteran said the party’s rough-and-ready politics is outdated. “The party has no fire in the belly,” he said.
At a rally in Thane, Shinde’s stronghold, Shrikant, the former’s son and Sena MP from Kalyan, slammed the Sena in strongest terms. However, Shinde Sr has so far refrained from spewing venom on the Sena or CM.
Meanwhile, Sainiks came out on the streets in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Palghar, Parbhani, Satara, Nagpur and Nanded.
A group of Sainiks allegedly attacked the central office of Shrikant Shinde in Ulhasnagar, it is learnt.
Stating that retaining the BMC and the MVA regime are the twin challenges before the Shiv Sena, a former civil servant said, “With more than 35 of its MLAs leaving the Sena, Uddhav Thackeray will flex his organisational muscle in a bid to scare the rebels into submission. Second, he will revive the party’s political rhetoric which defined the Balasaheb era.”

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