The Shiv Sena, whose members were prevented from holding their planned black-flag protests against Rahul Gandhi, on Friday hit back alleging that a "Mussolini" type of atmosphere prevailed during the Congress leader's four-hour trip to the city.
Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray admitted that the tight security cordon in the city prevented his activists from "exercising their democratic right of protest" by waving black flags against Rahul.
"This shows what kind of a Mussolini 'raj' (rule) is prevalent in Maharashtra," Thackeray said, referring to the Italian dictator who ruled Italy with an iron grip in the pre-World War-II years.
Thackeray referred to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as "a watchman" for waiting nearly an hour-and-half under a tree in Ghatkopar to receive Rahul.
He acidly remarked that if so much security could be provided to Mumbai on a normal basis, then nobody would dare to attack the city.
Referring to Rahul withdrawing cash from a bank ATM near Andheri railway station to purchase a second-class suburban train ticket, Thackeray said it was to be expected.
"Mumbai means Delhi's ATM," Thackeray said, alleging that the city was exploited by rulers in Delhi for its wealth.
Regarding Rahul discarding his helicopter and using two local trains to go from Andheri to Dadar to Ghatkopar, Thackeray termed it as "a drama".
"Why speak of only local trains and helicopters? Everything was kept ready for him, 'bailgaadi' (bullock-cart), haath-gaadi (hand-cart)... I even heard that Ashok Chavan was even waiting with a bicycle to give a double lift to Rahul," Thackeray said sarcastically.
He claimed that the rattled state government deployed so much security because it was aware of the Sena's strength in Mumbai.
"They even used the mobile phones of our party activists to call up others and get their locations before rounding them up. He even changed his planned route because of the Sena. This shows who is more powerful in Mumbai," Thackeray claimed.
He vowed the Sena would continue to agitate against Rahul for his "insulting" remarks on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
"Today, Bal Thackeray had told us to show black flags, we did it," he asserted.