A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi won over Mumbai and turned the tables on the Shiv Sena on its own turf, the saffron party on Saturday expressed its rancour and despair at Mumbaikars' "desertion of self-pride".
In a strong reaction to Gandhi's four-hour visit to the country's financial capital, which evoked warm response from people, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana Saturday fumed at what most people described as the flop show of the party's black flag demonstrations against Gandhi on Friday.
By riding the suburban trains, drawing cash from an ATM to pay for his ticket and interacting with commuters, Gandhi managed to strike an empathetic chord with people, and this clearly irked Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.
"Pakistani payers should come to this country and play anywhere, assaults on Indians should go on unhindered in Australia, Pakistan should stage 26/11 like attacks any time and anywhere, Shah Rukh should screen his film with the blessings of the Italian lady and the prince's benevolence in any theatre for as many days as he wants -- Shiv Sena would not oppose this," Thackeray rhetorically wrote in the Saamana editorial.
"Shah Rukh tells us to love Pakistan. But nobody feels suffocated, nobody gets angry. How can they?," the editorial reads and adds:" When the Maharashtra's Congress government itself kneels down before an Italian woman to offer its 'namaz' , why should Shiv Sainiks alone gaitate? Shiv Sena alone raise its voice? Has the patriotism of others died?"
Terming Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh as Gandhi's "chamacha" (psycophants), Thackeray, however, has asserted that the Shiv Sena would always stand by Mumbai and 'Marathi manoos' .