New Delhi: Time and again, Maharashtra has been presenting a rare spectacle of personal bonhomie plus political aggressiveness as just before the floor test on Saturday, Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray hugged and then slammed each other vociferously.
Former CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the oath-taking ceremony of Thackeray and other six ministers in Shivaji park was not in line with the rules. “Someone took Babasaheb Thackeray’s name, someone took names of Sonia ji and Pawar Saheb. The oath was not taken as per the given format,” Fadnavis said.
“You feel stung when we took names of Chhatrapati Shivaji. I will take the name again and again. Those who don’t take the names of their parents have no right to live. It is not Maharashtra’s to think that taking Shivaji’s name and parents name is a crime,” Uddhav said.
Shivaji, however, is an old legacy issue between the BJP and the Sena. Ahead of the Assembly elections, the BJP was focussing on the Maratha king, which was seen as an attempt to woo Maratha voters and also to appropriate the legacy. Udayanraje Bhosale, a descendant of Shivaji, had switched to the BJP from NCP ahead of the elections which gave the BJP a shot in the arm, but he lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll. In an editorial, Sena MP Sanjay Raut had written, “Shivaji Maharaj is not confined to a caste or a party. He belongs to all 11 crore people of Maharashtra…Whenever people take oath in the name of Shivaji Maharaj but do not keep promises, and start thinking of themselves as rulers of the state, then it is a sign of their downfall.” The editorial was written when the Sena was in talks with the Congress and the NCP.
On Saturday, the Shiv Sena MLAs sported saffron turban during the floor test. This saffron turban, too, is a point of clash between the two parties. Recently, a Sena editorial criticised BJP for wearing saffron turbans. “One cannot borrow the inspiration of saffron just by wearing it. You cannot even create it (the inspiration),” it said.