While cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha has been welcomed by all political parties, Shiv Sena has maintained that the seat should have been offered to a more senior player who had retired from active cricket.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamna had also questioned the nomination of actor Rekha to the Upper House. The nomination of actor Jaya Bachchan at a time when her husband superstar Amitabh had been given a clean chit in Bofors scam was the Congress' way of silencing her, the editorial stated.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who knows the cricketer personally, had welcomed the nomination, saying that this move should not be seen as though Sachin has joined the Congress.
Tendulkar shares an uneasy equation with the Sena. In 2009, the cricketer came under attack from Thackeray for saying that Mumbai is for all citizens and it belongs to India.
Thackeray, in an editorial piece, had then asked Tendulkar to restrict himself to his cricket instead of making political statements or else he would have to face the ire of the Sena.
Reacting to Thackeray's jibes, Congress state party unit questioned Sena's motives in nominating industrialist like Rajkumar Dhoot and producer Pritish Nandy to the Upper House.
"If Thackeray says nominating Sachin to Rajya Sabha is like 'Dirty Picture', then was nominating Dhoot, Nandy a case of 'Apna Sapna Money Money?" asked state party spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Speaking to mediapersons at his residence in Bandra, Thackeray also slammed anti graft-crusader Anna Hazare and his movement for a strong Lokpal bill. "Hazare is surrounded by corrupt people and has not made one move to get rid of them. Who is this Lokpal? The same corrupt people will head it.''
Two days ago, Thackeray had refused also to meet Hazare when he was in city.