In what appears to be a case of blinking first, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has called for a ceasefire in the ongoing clashes with the Shiv Sena.
NCP state party president Madhukar Pichad on Saturday issued directives asking all party workers not to engage in further clashes or hold demonstrations against the Sena.
The current stand-off between these parties follows deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s criticism of Sena chief Bal Thackeray for not doing any constructive work and using the legacy of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji for political gains. Sena had retaliated by holding protests against Pawar and writing an editorial criticising him in the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had asked Pichad to issue restraining orders following demonstrations such as the burning of effigies, said party spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.
Pichad said: “Some political parties think they have every right to criticise others but cannot take criticism in their stride. They react through violent agitations.” He added that the NCP believed in parliamentary democracy and as such could not support violent agitations
Even as party gave its orders restraining workers, Ajit Pawar continued his criticism, this time targeting Congress at a function in Yavatmal.
Sources in the party said Ajit Pawar will continue his aggressive stance of taking on the Opposition and its allies. A section of the party led by Ajit believe that party has been facing too many allegations and attacks and should now be in the offensive.