MUMBAI: Eight more Shiv Sena activists have been arrested in connection with the assault on BJP MP Kirit Somaiya and other party workers at suburban Mulund in Mumbai, police said on Thursday. So far, 13 people have been arrested in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, Somaiya alleged that Shiv Sainiks tried to kill him and wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner asking him to unravel the plot. The assault took place in suburban Mulund after Sena workers allegedly disrupted a programme organised by Somaiya wherein an effigy of ‘corruption mafia in MCGM’ was to be burnt to mark the festival of Dussehra.
The Sena activists objected to the effigy burning as they are in power in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and tried to stop the programme.Three persons, including a woman, were injured in the clash between the workers of the two alliance partners.
“As the program got over and most of the people had left the site, Shiv Sena workers arrived in buses, stormed into the venue and assaulted participants, including women. I was whisked away from the site. This was nothing else but an attempt to kill me,” Somaiya said.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena taunted the BJP saying that the friends who shared power with us in the Corporation for 20 years are finding faults in the conduct where even the diehard opponents like the Congress didn’t find anything in 15 years. However, Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr. Neelam Gorhe just brushed aside the charges saying that they are laughable. “Somaiya has a habit of levelling pompous allegations. Hardly anyone takes him seriously,” she said.
In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dussehra rally in Lucknow, the Shiv Sena said the celebration of the festival in Uttar Pradesh was an attempt by the BJP to consolidate votes in the name of Ram temple for the forthcoming Assembly elections. At the same time, the ruling alliance partner sought to know what prevents BJP from making use of its absolute majority in the Lok Sabha to start contruction of the temple in Ayodhya. “Don’t just engage in sloganeering but start construction of the temple and the Shiv Sena will help you, because it was the Sena which had brought down the dome of the Babri Masjid,”an editorial in Saamana said.