Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi got into trouble for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. After being slapped and manhandled by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislators in the Maharashtra assembly on Monday, Azmi was mobbed outside the gates of the assembly by Shiv Sena legislators and his shoe showroom in upmarket Colaba was vandalised by unidentified men.
Azmi was targeted on Tuesday for telling mediapersons that Sena chief Bal Thackeray “has grown old and speaks like a child”. The SP leader said this while remarking on an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna blaming Azmi for taking his oath of office as an MLA in Hindi and provoking a ruckus in the assembly.
The editorial also alleged that Azmi “fixed” Monday’s episode in the assembly for “publicity”, adding that the Congress too had a hand in it. Thackeray is the editor of the Saamna.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai blasted Azmi, saying, “We will show Azmi what the Shiv Sena is and teach him a lesson in the Sena style. We will also meet Home Minister R.R. Patil and complain about him.”
“Azmi will not be allowed to roam around if he dares to say anything against our leader,” Sena MLA Eknath Shinde said.
MNS legislators also joined the outburst. “There will be no compromise if anyone utters bad words about Balasaheb (Thackeray). Irrespective of party affiliations, Balasaheb is like God for lakhs of people in Maharashtra and we will not tolerate anything against him,” MNS legislator Bala Nandgaonkar said.