The piece attacked Gujarati community in Mumbai
Close on the heels of his father Uddhav Thackeray’s clarification, Aaditya has publicly disowned an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, which attacked the Gujarati community in Mumbai.
Referring to an “attempt to sabotage” the bond between the Sena and the community, the junior Thackeray on Monday said he wanted to put the controversy to “rest.”
“… we seek or make no difference between us and the Gujarati community of Mumbai and neither endorse such views by anyone as those of the party or the leadership.”
The editorial on Thursday lashed out at Gujarati traders for not participating in Maharashtra Day celebrations on May 1 and accused them of exploiting the city for personal gain.
“The trading community used to say they had no connection with politics. But they rallied together to support the prime ministerial candidate [Narendra Modi] from their community. But how many of them came down from their tall buildings to participate in Maharashtra Day celebrations?” it asked.
Following ripples in political circles after the piece, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray issued a press statement claiming that the union of Marathi and Gujarati communities in the Lok Sabha election had upset many. “Their attempts to divide us should be ignored. This unity will never be divided and there will be miraculous results,” he said.
According to Sena sources, Aaditya’s decision to publicly disown his own newspaper’s editorial came after strong reactions from Gujaratis. “Despite various attempts by us, chaos prevailed. There were questions raised by many and immediate intervention was needed,” said a source close to him.
‘Shifting blame conveniently’
However, the Opposition refused to buy the Sena clarifications. “The Thackerays tested the possible reactions through the editorial and backtracked because it was severely opposed. They conveniently put the blame on Saamna and tried to remain spotless,” said Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Aanant Gadgil.