NEW DELHI: As Shiv Sena has promised to form government in Maharashtra in "few days" and Sharad Pawar sending mixed signals, old videos of the Thackerays and tweets by Sena have emerged that may surely embarrass the Sena-Congress-NCP formation, if not play spoilsport.
In one such video, Sena chief Udhav Thackeray in a video is seen ranting against Congress motormouth Mani Shankar Aiyar and even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Udhav Thackeray is seen ranting in Marathi where he says, "Mani Shankar Aiyar should be beaten with shoes. If I spot Aiyar, I will beat him up with shoes." He said that to claps of Sena supporters.
But he didn't stop there. His next target was none less than former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Udhav Thackeray is seen spewing his ridicule in the video when he says, "Rahul Gandhi is a fool. He has got a lot of time on his hand." He even advised him against his endeavours to become the Prime Minister and imitated him by rolling his sleeves, as Rahul often does.
As late as this October, the Sena mocked Rahul Gandhi's foreign trips. Addressing a rally in Ahmednagar, the Thackeray senior ridiculed Rahul's Bangkok sojourn by saying, "Your leader [Rahul Gandhi] has reached Bangkok. So, you [Balasaheb Thorat] too, can sit at home..."
In thick of election season this year, Sena's mouthpiece Saamana had lashed out at Congress for questioning the timing of JeM chief's listing as a global terrorist. The Sena minced no words when it had attacked the Congress alleging, "Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath went to the extent of questioning the timing of the UN move. There might be a fear in his mind that it may benefit Modi during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. But he should ask the UN about its timing."
It is not a one-way street. Congress's Mumbai leader and former Union Minister Milind Deora on February 19 had posted a meme on his Twitter that is doing the rounds even now. The tweet says: "The Shiv Sena cannot have its cake and eat it too. They acted like the opposition when they were part of the government - but are now coming together for selfish political gains. This is the real 'milavat'!"
As hectic parleys are going on between the three political outfits to cobble up a common minimum programme to stitch together a government in Maharashtra, the long standing animosity between the grand old party and the Shiv Sena that claims to espouse the marathi cause is all too apparent. And the inherent contradiction is time and again rearing its head through old videos or tweets, where the Thackeray senior did hesitate to call Rahal Gandhi a "fool" or to claim he wishes to beat a senior Congress leader with "shoes".