Mumbai, Sep 23: Taking a jibe at the NCP leadership in the backdrop of Pankaja Munde's visit to beleaguered fomer Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal in a hospital, the Shiv Sena today said Sharad Pawar should take "lessons on humanity" from the state Women and Child Development Minister.
Bhujbal, in judicial custody in an alleged money laundering case, is currently recuperating at state-run J J hospital after he fell ill a few days ago. The senior NCP leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in March and was lodged in the Arthur Road Jail.
"We feel sorry for the state Bhujbal is in today. The NCP, for which Bhujbal wronged late Sena chief Bal Thackeray, has today left him in the lurch. We thus feel surprised at Pankaja Munde's courage to visit him in the hospital and inquire about his health," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
"Pictures of Bhujbal being leaked, showing his frail body are heart-wrenching, but the NCP bosses have displayed a complete lack of empathy," said the editorial, which also has allusions to Bhujbal's days as a hard-core Shiv Sena leader before joining the NCP. "Everyone was praising Bhujbal in his 'acche din' (good days). All his bosses were in awe of speeches he made in the Legislature.
But today nobody had gone to meet a tired Bhujbal," the editorial said. "Bhujbal is behind bars for corruption and economic offences. While other NCP leaders may be out and enjoying themselves now, they should have met him to inquire about life inside jail and facilities provided there," it said.
The Sena said late BJP leader Gopinath Munde would have shown the same courage as Pankaja (his daugther) had displayed by visiting Bhujbal. "Everyone has to pay a price for their wrongdoings.
But, what is the harm in keeping humanity alive? (NCP leaders) (Praful) Patel, (Sharad) Pawar and (Sunil) Tatkare should learn something from Pankaja," the Sena said. Pankaja called on Bhujbal on Wednesday and spent around half-an-hour with him.
The visit created a flutter in political circles, triggering speculations it was a deft move by Panakaja to flaunt the 'backward class card' by calling on Bhujbal, who also hails from the OBC background.