Shiv Sena calls truce with NCP
After a week of mudslinging and burning effigies of leaders, the clash between the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ended on Monday. Sayli Udas Mankikar reports.mumbai Updated: Jun 07, 2011 01:05 IST
After a week of mudslinging and burning effigies of leaders, the clash between the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ended on Monday.
A day after the NCP asked its party workers to observe restraint, Sena chief Bal Thackeray also instructed Shiv Sainiks to put an end to the protests.
“The Congress party in the Centre is facing a Mahabharat [a huge war]. These protests [Sena-NCP] need to end so that all of us can fight together against the Congress,” Thackeray said in a press statement issued on Monday.
Referring to renaming of Dadar railway station to Chaityabhoomi, Thackeray said the matter had been settled since home minister RR Patil and senior NCP leaders had decided to take a backseat on the issue.
The clashes had erupted after deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar made remarks about Thackeray at a function in Shirdi last week.
The minister had criticised the Shiv Sena chief for not doing any ‘constructive work’ such as running sugar cooperatives or educational institutes during his political career.
In another speech, he even questioned the Thackerays’ source of income.
The statements did not go down well with the Sena, which launched a wave of agitations. The police had to resort to lathi-charge after the Sena and NCP activists clashed in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and other cities.
On June 3, the Sena announced that it would continue its agitation until Pawar apologised to Thackeray.
However, Maharashtra NCP president Madhukar Pichad’s statement on Sunday followed by Thackeray’s stand is indication that the senior party leaders have finally arrived at a truce.
“In a democracy, political parties should be prepared to face criticism from others. However, some political parties criticise others, but resort to agitations when they are criticised,” Pichad had said on Sunday.
According to sources, NCP chief Sharad Pawar was unhappy with the two parties sparring and had even pulled up senior leaders for the situation.
“At a time when we are engaged in a cold war with the Congress, there is no need to take on the Sena. Little wonder, the party leadership was unhappy,” said a senior NCP minister on condition of anonymity.
In fact, a section of the leaders from the NCP and the Sena are in favour of a tacit understanding between the two parties so that the Sena can retain the Mumbai civic body.