Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday lambasted his one-time protege, and present Maharashtra
PWD minister, Chhagan Bhujbal, for questioning the ideological
contradictions in the saffron party`s newly-formed alliance
with Ramdas Athavale`s RPI.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece "Saamana",
Thackeray said Bhujbal, who had once washed the Hutatma Chowk
(memorial of martyrs of Samyukta Maharashtra movement in
Mumbai) after dalit mobs had been there during a protest, or
had accused NCP chief Sharad Pawar of corruption during his
earlier avatar as Shiv Sena leader, should not talk about
others` change of heart.
At a recent NCP meeting Bhujbal had ridiculed coming
together of RPI and opposition Sena-BJP, commenting that
leaders of both groups should clarify their stand on various
issues, including reservations, where their stands were poles
He wondered if Shiv Sena supremo had given up his
opposition to caste-based reservations, or to the renaming of
Marathwada University after B R Ambedkar.
"If that is so, hat`s off to Athavale, because he managed
(to persuade Thackeray to change his views) what I could not.
I had to switch sides," Bhujbal had said.
Bhujbal, now with NCP, quit Sena in early 1990s, to join
Without going into how the earlier differences between
Dalit-backed RPI and Shiv Sena would be reconciled, Thackeray
senior said in the editorial that "converts" like Bhujbal
should "stay within their limits" and "not play with fire".