A week after being criticised by Manohar Joshi, who called the Sena leadership weak, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray hit back, saying he would continue to carry out changes in the saffron outfit and also warned against “playing with fire”, without naming Joshi.
Thackeray’s barbs appeared in the editorial of Sena mouthpiece Saamna, a Marathi newspaper.
In the state’s political circles, the Saamna editorial is seen as the Sena leadership’s views or comments on issues. Like Bal Thackeray before him, Uddhav is the editor of the paper.
In the editorial column, Uddhav quoted Italian politician Niccolò Machiavelli, to justify the changes he has made.
He said Machiavelli had stated that there would always be largescale resistance to change, especially from those whose vested interests were likely to be hurt.
“We have the capability and the competence to decide on the policy and direction for the Sena,” said Uddhav.
“There is a need to carry out experiments in the Shiv Sena, and that we will do.”
He also indirectly warned dissenters that Joshi’s humiliation at the Dussehra rally was a lesson for them.
“The kind of angry reaction visible at Shivaji Park should be a lesson to all that they should not play with fire. We will not tolerate any nonsense and this was aptly demonstrated at the Dussehra rally,” he added.
Joshi, who had criticised Uddhav for his failure to build a memorial for Sena founder Bal Thackeray, was booed out of Shivaji Park by Sena workers at the party’s Dussehra rally.
“The anger had its roots in the inspiration of Balasaheb,” he said, adding that his father, who never stood for elections, had started Sena for the cause of Maharashtrians and not for leaders to gets posts.
The party chief then made his attack more direct, but still did not use Joshi’s name.
“He become a corporator, legislator, Mayor and also reached the position of the Lok Sabha speaker all because of the party,” Uddhav said. Meanwhile, Joshi maintained his silence for the third day in a row.