Even as political parties tried to outdo each other in commemorating the Marathi Bhasha Diwas, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chose to skip the celebrations at the civic headquarters on Monday.
The MNS may have played the Marathi manoos card successfully in poll campaigns, but not a single corporator from the party turned up for the programme organised by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in which noted Marathi author Girija Kir and poet Ashok Naigaonkar interacted with corporators and civic officials.
MNS corporator and Member of Legislative Assembly Mangesh Sangle said that his party’s corporators were busy in a meeting with party chief, Raj Thackeray. “Later, we had a party function to commemorate Marathi Divas, and hence, couldn’t make it to the official celebrations.”
Political opponents have said Monday’s developments exposed the MNS’ doublespeak on the issue.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray has been a vocal proponent of the Marathi language and culture, and has attacked the Shiv Sena for failing to preserve the Marathi pride.
Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman said, “This has completely exposed the MNS and its doublespeak. The party claims to be standing for the Marathi manoos, but when the time came to honour the Marathi language and literature, they turned their backs on the same manoos.”
Another Sena corporator, who did not wish to be named because it was a controversial subject, said: “As Uddhavsaheb correctly put it, the MNS chief is like a hen that keeps making noises as everyone waits for the egg.”