Former advocate general Shreehari Aney raked up another controversy on Wednesday, as he cut his birthday cake, which was in the shape of Maharashtra, into two pieces, carving out the Vidarbha region.
Aney, who turned 66, was presented the cake by his lawyer friends in the Nagpur high court. Various regions such as Vidarbha and Marathwada were shown in different colours. Aney cut it into two, separating the part depicting Vidarbha from the cake. The visual was shown repeatedly on various Marathi news channels.
This led to a sharp reaction from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. “Shreehari Aney will remember all his life how he cut the cake of Maharashtra and divided it into two parts,” said Thackeray.
Thackeray has been a proponent of a unified Maharashtra and had, in the past, warned Aney against propagating division of the state. Aney has been an advocate of smaller states. He had recently demanded separate states for Marathwada and Vidarbha. Both the Opposition as well as the Shiv Sena had protested against Aney, after which he resigned from the post of advocate general.
At his recent Gudi Padwa rally, Thackeray said Maharashtra was not a cake which should be cut and distributed. He called it a RSS conspiracy and targeted senior RSS member MG Vaidya, who too advocated carving out smaller states.