Sena's 'toning down' complete, only sermons for Azmi | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sena's 'toning down' complete, only sermons for Azmi

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2009 11:12 IST

A decade ago, saying something against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray would have resulted in violence in true Sena 'ishtyle'.

However, the saffron outfit's reaction to the alleged derogatory remarks against 83-year-old Thackeray, by Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, have led political observers to believe that the roar of the Tiger has been replaced by the 'meeow' of a cat.

Azmi told media in Mumbai on Tuesday that "Bal Thackeray has gotten old. He is frustrated. He says he doesn't want to die in Mumbai as people have not voted for him."

"Had Azmi made these remarks some years ago, he would have been manhandled by Shiv Sainiks," senior journalist and political analyst Aroon Tikekar told PTI.

"However, Uddhav is a different kind of leader. He won't easily give consent to manhandle a person," Tikekar said.

"Uddhav is a sober leader, even if he tries to behave like Balasaheb," he added.

Sena's offspring MNS, whose MLAs bashed up Azmi for not taking oath in Marathi, have another take.

"There is an ideological confusion in Shiv Sena leadership," MNS general secretary Nitin Sardesai told PTI.

"They should have supported us on the Marathi issue in Assembly yesterday. There is no point saying later that Marathi is their plank," he added.