In a rare situation, Shiv Sena washed off its hands from an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamna on Thursday. The editorial attributed to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had targeted the Gujaratis staying in Mumbai over their loyalty towards the state. However, the party clarified in the evening that the editorial did not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
The editorial drew parallel between the Maharashtrians and the Gujaratis on the occasion of Maharashtra Day celebrated on Thursday. “Those who came here in abject poverty used Mumbai to raise empires of gold. Now, this very class is pulling political ropes to choose a PM and dethrone another.”
It asked whether the Gujaratis will be united for Maharashtra like they did for BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi.
The editorial called Gujaratis as beparis (businessmen). “Their dreams would have never come true without Mumbai’s warmth and money. The beparis who are otherwise aloof from politics have united to elect a son of their soil. It is the sweat and toil of Mumbai that brings revenue worth Rs 2 lakh crore. But all that Maharashtra gets in return is humiliation, neglect and farmer suicides.”
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai clarified in the evening that the editorial did not mean to hurt anyone.
“The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance has defeated the Congress. The Mumbaikars showed unity in voting. It will help us to make the country Congress free by making Narendra Modi the PM. Shiv Sena appeals everyone to show the unity for Mumbai’s and subsequently Maharashtra’s development,” he said.
The party had never before publicly discarded a stand taken in Saamna.
The mouthpiece had alleged that the Maharashtrians had stabbed in Shiv Sena’s back after it suffered its worst defeat in 2009 election.
However, the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had expressed his displeasure over the comment in a closed door meeting not in public.