The Shiv Sena, which has been synonymous with organising bandhs for decades in the city, played second fiddle to its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this time.
While BJP leaders, along with their cadres, were visible in many areas enforcing the strike aggressively, the Sena cadres chose to remain low key.
Though the bandh was almost complete in Sena strongholds like Parel, Girguam, Lalbaug, Dadar, Dahisar and Vile Parle, the usual display of aggression by the Sena cadres was missing.
“It was not a Sena bandh called by our pramukh (Bal Thackeray). Also, we did not get any specific instructions from our high command,” said a senior Shiv Sena leader on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The Sena did put up articles penned by Thackeray on its party boards, though, exhorting citizens to participate in the strike.
Noted political commentator Venkatesh Kumar said: “The BJP was trying to cash in on the petrol price hike and now looks at itself as the party out to grab power at the Centre. The party cadres needed to get aggressive to show their high command. In contrast, the Sena is quite relaxed after it has won the Mumbai civic elections and looks more for localised issues,” he added.
BJP President (Mumbai) Raj Purohit said the Sena did not need to come on the streets. “The writ of the Sena rules the city while we have to plan the things and convince people,” he said.