Nagpur (Maharashtra), July 25: "Kick the trappings of power and move aside... quit ministerships and red-beacon cars, go and work independently for the people," the RSS-inspired Tarun Bharat daily advised the Shiv Sena chief on Saturday.
The stern and unexpected 'advice' to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray came via an edit published in the daily, headquartered here.
In the scalding editorial, the paper took strong umbrage at certain comments by Thackeray in his marathon three-part annual interview to the party's mouthpiece, Saamana, ahead of his birthday on July 27.
"What is this regular crying and cribbing over everything? The BJP is weak, the NCP is shameless, Congress is useless...Such abusive language does not suit you," the daily said.
Challenging Thackeray's refrain that "it was the BJP which wanted us (Shiv Sena) to join the Maharashtra government," the edit pointed out that on the contrary it was the Sena which was feeling left out of power, both at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
"Who created all the drama during the assembly seat-share talks, running from pillar-to-post for joining the state cabinet, talking ('ulat-sulat') nonsense till Sena ministers were sworn-in, sitting in the Opposition for two months after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' swearing-in, and discarding the opposition to grab power?" the edit pointed out.
It said that people realised how miserable the Sena legislators felt sitting in the opposition -- but the moment a message came from New Delhi to include them in power, their faces blossomed like flowers.
"You claim to be magnanimous in supporting the state government... If that same magnanimity had been shown during the seat-share talks, stopped squabbling over three-four seats and understood the public mood, the state would have had a strong alliance government," the edit said.
It reminded that despite this, the Fadnavis government survived the vote of confidence in the assembly without Shiv Sena support and even continued ruling for two months without any problems, before the latter (Sena) crossed over from the opposition to the treasury benches.
"When you keep insulting and degrading the BJP at every opportunity, how do you expect it to call the Shiv Sena a 'friend'? You want to join the government, criticize your own CM, set rules and then break them irresponsibly... What is this 'tamasha' (drama)?"
It recalled how the Sena had dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as 'Afzal Khan' during the assembly campaign, how it said "even Modi's father" could not have won the Lok Sabha elections decisively without its support, and later blamed it for snapping the alliance.
"If you harbour so much hatred (for BJP), then kick the trappings of power and move aside... Quit ministerships and red-beacon cars, go and work separately for the people," Tarun Bharat advised, virtually asking Sena to pack up from the Maharashtra cabinet.