Sena leader Neelam Gorhe's attack on Raj Thackeray, calling him ‘supari man’ (a contract killer in underworld lingo), has put senior Sena leaders in a spot. Sena seniors Manohar Joshi, Subhash Desai and Ramdas Kadam have avoided a direct attack on the MNS chief for the unwritten code among them bans public criticism of any Thackeray family members.
So, while the seniors in the Sena stay mum over Raj, it is left to the new entrants like Gorhe in Uddhav’s team to defend their leader. The seniors are now wondering whether Uddhav would expect them to do the same as the war of words between the warring cousins gets worse.
Meanwhile, Manohar Joshi’s decision not to address a rally in archrival Chhagan Bhujbal's constituency of Yeola has raised eyebrows. Joshi backed out of addressing a Sena rally at the eleventh hour on Thursday on the pretext that he was unwell.
But Bhujbal supporters are claiming ‘Sir’ avoided the rally due to the poor turnout. And political pundits read more into this ‘no show’ — marginalised within the Sena, Joshi is looking for friends outside. Is there a truce in the offing with the same Bhujbal who had quit Sena on the grounds that Joshi had grabbed all positions of power?
In the Race, again?
Things are now looking up for R R Patil who was unceremoniously ousted from the deputy chief minister’s post after the 26/11 terror attack. Though he is contesting from his hometown of Tasgaon in Sangli, RR is in great demand with NCP candidates as a campaigner, second only to Sharad Pawar.
What’s more, his pet project — to free villages of disputes — is being touted as the NCP’s achievement in the party’s poll campaign. No wonder his supporters are saying he is a strong contender for the CM or Deputy CM’s post if the Congress-NCP returns to power.
On the other side
Guess who is running scared of the police? Not common citizens like you and me but a former minister of state for home. Congressman, and minister of state for rural development Siddharam Mhetre is worried that the police will ‘implicate’ him in the murder of a BJP worker in Solapur.
Or at least that is what he has told his party bosses with a plea to ‘ensure’ that this does not happen. Mhetre’s name appears in the First Information Report in the case. So, how does it feel to be on the other side of the fence, Mr Minister?