Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday came out strongly in support of Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari saying that the land-grabbing allegations levelled against the latter were “as barren as the land he [Mr. Gadkari] had taken on lease from the Maharashtra government.”

In an editorial in his party mouthpiece Saamna, Mr. Thackeray said that mudslinging against Mr. Gadkari seemed to be the only objective of India Against Corruption (IAC) activists Arvind Kejriwal and Anjali Damania.

Mr. Thackeray wrote Mr. Gadkari had exposed the activists’ allegations by providing ample proof. He went on to advise Mr. Kejriwal and his team to exercise restraint, and added that charges should be levelled in a responsible manner while exposing scams.

“If [Mr.] Kejriwal and Anjali Damania continue to make such baseless allegations, they will go the Anna Hazare way, waving papers and piling allegations on people without any proof,” Mr. Thackeray said, censuring the IAC activists. “There is no reason for Mr. Kejriwal and Ms. Damania to get upset if Mr. Gadkari got land and implemented a project there. He has not stolen or robbed,” the Sena chief said.

The BJP president has rejected the charges and maintained that the land in question was a wasteland and he had accordingly given it on lease to a charitable trust that was not owned by him contrary to the IAC’s allegation.