Mumbai, Nov 17 () The ruling alliance Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Thursday demanded ‘purification’ of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray for meeting and hugging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Nanded on November 11.
BSS-BJP ministers and leaders said that since Aditya had met a Gandhi who has been criticising Swatantraveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, he should be “sprinkled” or given a full-fledged “cow urine bath”.
BSS state minister Deepak Kesarkar, Spokesperson Sheetal Mhatre, BJP’s Union Minister Raosaheb Danve and others joined the chorus to give a ‘gomutra’ cleansing treatment to the ex-minister Thackeray Jr.
Terming it as a “defeat of Balasaheb Thackeray’s Hindutva ideology”, Danve sharply asked whether Aditya didn’t realise he was going with those who are abusing Veer Savarkar, and claimed that he would not get Balasaheb Thackeray’s blessings.
Kesarkar and Mhatre also sought ‘purifying’ Aditya and scrubbing him clean with cow urine as he had joined Gandhi, embraced him and participated in the BJY last week.
The ostensible provocation was a late Wednesday visit by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to the memorial of Balasaheb Thackeray on the eve of his 10th death anniversary being observed today (November 17).
Soon after the Chief Minister left, some local Sainiks (UBT) allegedly went and sprinkled cow urine at the site to ‘cleanse’ it, leaving the BSS leaders fuming and leading to a fresh war of words on Thursday.
Some Sena (UBT) leaders like Arvind Sawant, MP attempted to justify the action hinting that it was necessary as “gaddaars” (traitors) had gone there.
Shinde decided to offer his respects at Balasaheb Thackeray’s memorial in Shivaji Park in advance to avoid any possible friction with the Sena (UBT) leaders who are thronging the site today.
Ex-CM and Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashimi, Aditya, other family members, a large number of party MPs, MLAs, senior leaders and thousands of supporters from all over Maharashtra paid their homage here this morning.
Later, an exhibition on the life and times of Balasaheb Thackeray comprising his sharp writings, cartoons, caricatures, photographs, among others, was inaugurated by Uddhav Thackeray at the venue.
On Wednesday, party MP Sanjay Raut had taken a jibe at the BSS leaders for going to pay homage to the Sena founder with ‘daggers’ – referring to the rebellion led by Shinde in June which brought down the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Thackeray.