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Tiger back to hardline tactics

To revive party fortunes after the setbacks suffered due to the exit of popular leaders Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray is returning to his time-tested formula ? the hardline agenda.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 04:40 IST

To revive party fortunes after the setbacks suffered due to the exit of popular leaders Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray is returning to his time-tested formula — the hardline agenda.

In a front page statement in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Tuesday, Thackeray said the huge anti-Bush rally in Mumbai last week should serve as a warning bell for Hindus.

“Though the instance was cartoons published by some newspaper in Denmark, the message is loud and clear: The Muslims’ fundamentalism is becoming a threat for the Hindus,” he said.

A couple of days ago, Thackeray’s son and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav had made similar statements.

Criticising Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil for not taking any action against participants who pelted stones during the morcha, Thackeray alle-

ged that the police would have acted differently had the morcha been organised by the Shiv Sena.

Thackeray also came down heavily on newspapers, saying they did not take cognisance of the real motive behind the morcha. “The Muslims are making their presence felt and nobody wants to take notice of this,” he lamented.

Made in typical Shiv Sena style, Thackeray’s statement indicates a return to hardline Hindutva.

It is the only formula the Shiv Sena has not tried so far to counter party loyalists-turned-foes Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray.

The only assembly by-election won by the Shiv Sena after Rane left and engineered a string of defections is Shrivardhan in Raigad district. The area had witnessed a communal riot a few weeks before the bypolls and the Shiv Sena played the Hindutva card to good effect.

In light of this, a section of party leaders led by the likes of Subhash Desai are of the opinion that the party should adopt the hardline agenda again.

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 04:40 IST