Shiv Sena issues revised advt but party leaders continue to bicker | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Shiv Sena issues revised advt but party leaders continue to bicker

Jun 15, 2023 01:15 AM IST

On Wednesday, a day after the original ad appeared that implied Shinde was more popular than Fadnavis in Maharashtra, enraging state BJP leaders, the Shiv Sena issued a fresh advertisement in Marathi newspapers

Mumbai: For a second day running, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis stayed away from official functions that were presided over by chief minister Eknath Shinde.

Mumbai, India - October 20, 2022: CM Eknath Shinde interacts with Dy. CM Devendra Fadnavis during the oath taking ceremony of Pollution-free Diwali along with students of various schools of Mumbai at Mantralaya, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, October 20, 2022. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - October 20, 2022: CM Eknath Shinde interacts with Dy. CM Devendra Fadnavis during the oath taking ceremony of Pollution-free Diwali along with students of various schools of Mumbai at Mantralaya, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, October 20, 2022. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)

On Wednesday, the Shinde-led Shiv Sena issued advertisements that played up his partnership with Fadnavis, but the wound inflicted by the first set of advertisements cut deep.

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In response to Shinde’s campaign projecting himself as part of the double engine government with PM Modi and giving a short shrift to his deputy, Fadnavis loyalist and BJP MP Anil Bonde likened Shinde to a frog on the well. A frog, he said, cannot become an elephant no matter how much air you pump into it. Not willing to have their leader insulted thus, Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Gaikwad responded saying the BJP grew in Maharashtra only by piggybacking on Bal Thackeray.

“They should introspect where they stood in 1987 and who helped them grow in the state. BJP grew in Maharashtra only by holding the hand of Balasaheb Thackeray. What was your aukat (status) in Maharashtra?” Gaikwad said.

On Wednesday, a day after the original ad appeared that implied Shinde was more popular than Fadnavis in Maharashtra, enraging state BJP leaders, the Shiv Sena issued a fresh advertisement in Marathi newspapers. This time, Shinde and Fadnavis were seen together and the survey figures were also clubbed to project a united front, by saying 49.3% citizens of the state have blessed the leadership of Shinde and Fadnavis. The new advertisement also featured prime minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader late Anand Dighe.

The controversial ad campaign, coming on the back of the state BJP staking claim on the Kalyan Lok Sabha constituency represented by Shinde’s son Shrikant as well as asking the CM to rein in or even drop a few unruly Sena ministers from his cabinet, is seen as a manifestation of the growing fissures between Shinde and Fadnavis.

While he hasn’t yet publicly reacted to SDhinde’s campaign, the deputy CM skipped another official program of state transport corporation (MSRTC) at YB Chavan Centre on Wednesday. His office, however, said he skipped the function on doctor’s advice as he was unwell. On Thursday, both men are supposed to be travelling to Palghar together for an official event.

Firing another salvo at the chief minister, BJP MP Anil Bonde said, “Shinde thinks Thane is Maharashtra just like Uddhav Thackeray thought that Mumbai was Maharashtra. Eknath Shinde is a respected CM and the people of Maharashtra have accepted him. We have also accepted him, but he is surrounded by wrong advisors. Devendra Fadnavis is a leader who works for every faction of the society be it worker, farmer, women or children.”

Though the state unit chief of BJP Chandrashekhar Bawankule said that after the revised advertisement, everything has been sorted out between the parties, he maintained that the BJP workers were hurt because of the previous campaign. “The advertisement has hurt party workers, MLAs and MPs. However, we believe that it was issued either inadvertently or by someone with ill intention. Shinde-saheb is a broadminded leader and would not resort to such an act himself,’’ he said.

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