Sena takes on BJP with posters, then back­tracks

Ud­dhav dis­tances him­self from row; all eyes on Dussehra rally to­day

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: A day be­fore its an­nual Dussehra rally in the city, the Shiv Sena took on its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but this time, through pho­to­graphs.

Sena work­ers put up posters in Mum­bai on Wed­nes­day that showed Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi with late Sena pa­tri­arch Bal Thack­eray, an ap­par­ent barb that widened the rift be­tween the al­lies.

The posters, which sprang up in Dadar, op­po­site the Sena head­quar­ters, as well as in Ghatkopar, fea­tured sev­eral lead­ers, but re­served the big­gest space for a pho­to­graph of Modi, when he was Gu­jarat chief min­is­ter, with folded hands be­fore Thack­eray.

Many said the ban­ners hit back at the PM for con­demn­ing Sena’s protest that forced the can­cel­la­tion of a con­cert by Pak­istani singer Ghu­lam Ali in Mum­bai.

The ban­ners also con­tained pho­to­graphs of se­nior BJP lead­ers such as Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee and LK Ad­vani, and Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thack­eray and Congress leader Narayan Rane with Thack­eray.

As pho­tos of the posters went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia, BJP lead­ers re­acted with anger. “Many times as the big brother in the al­liance, one tol­er­ates such things. We tol­er­ate it be­cause we want to run the gov­ern­ment. Shiv Sena was the big brother un­til 2014 As­sem­bly polls and we got the big­ger man­date,” said Girish Ba­pat, BJP leader and state min­is­ter.

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