Thackeray has bitten off more than he can chew: NCP | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Thackeray has bitten off more than he can chew: NCP

Sachin Tendulkar is the second popular Maharashtrian figure to bear the brunt of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's criticism, the first being litterateur late Pu La Deshpande.

mumbai Updated: Nov 17, 2009 01:00 IST

Sachin Tendulkar is the second popular Maharashtrian figure to bear the brunt of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's criticism, the first being litterateur late Pu La Deshpande.

"This time, Thackeray has bitten off more than he can chew. Sachin is perhaps the only figure in India who is beyond any controversy. The cricket icon has not said anything wrong by saying 'Mumbai is for all'. On this issue, all Marathis are with Sachin," a senior NCP leader told PTI.

When the Sena-BJP combine was in power, the government instituted the "Maharashtra Bhushan" award to honour eminent persons for their contribution in various fields. Deshpande was chosen as the first recipient of the award by a panel headed by the then chief minister Manohar Joshi.

However, in his acceptance speech, Deshpande minced no words in condemning the alliance's rule, saying there was an atmosphere of intolerance and due to such parties the progress of Maharashtra would come to a grinding halt.

Thackeray came down heavily on the litterateur, saying if that was Deshpande's impression about the Sena-BJP government, he should not have accepted the award.

Thackeray, however, tried to make amends after Deshpande died in 2000, suggesting his name for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.