By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) Amid the ongoing political cacophony, the state suddenly heard the tinkling of bangles sparking off a row between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis threw the first bangle by attacking the Shiv Sena for its silence on the recent controversial remarks made by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Waris Pathan.
“The Shiv Sena may be wearing bangles, but we are not. If someone says something, then he will get a befitting reply. The BJP has this much strength,” thundered Fadnavis, demanding stringent action against the AIMIM ex-MLA Pathan.
He was speaking on Tuesday at a meeting in Azad Maidan to kickstart the BJP’s state-level protests against the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress over issues pertaining to farm loan waiver and women’s safety.
However, the state BJP tweeted on Wednesday that Fadnavis said he “will not use the word bangles as women dislike it” and took back his statement immediately.
Hitting out, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray sought to turn the table by demanding an apology from Fadnavis on his “disgraceful” bangles remark.
“Fadnavis-ji, normally I choose not to comment back. Kindly apologise about bangles comments. Bangles are worn by the strongest of all – the women,” said Aaditya Thackeray.
Attempting to shield his father Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray also gave advice to Fadnavis that while politics can go on, “there is a need to change this discourse, rather disgraceful coming from a former CM”.
NCP Minority Affairs Minister and national spokesperson Nawab Malik shot out by asking Fadnavis to “send the bangles” to the BJP’s Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.
“Fadnavis asks Uddhav Thackeray to wear bangles. I am asking him to send bangles to Yediyurappa. Pathan gave the communal speech in Karnataka and it is their responsibility to register a case against him and take action. But no action has been taken by them,” Malik hit back in a tweet.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant embarrassed Fadnavis further by saying that the Leader of Opposition “shows his RSS mindset” which disregards gender equality and is disrespectful towards women.
“Even now, there are no women members in the RSS working committee due to their adherence to Manusmriti,” Sawant said, attempting to corner Fadnavis.
Jumping into the clinking cauldron, celeb-banker Amruta Fadnavis sought to defend her husband (Devendra) by suggesting Aaditya Thackeray was a ‘cocooned worm’!
“A cocooned worm will never understand the ‘pun’ of life! It’s meant to thrive on the glory of the silken life woven for its comforts by its ancestors,” said Amruta Fadnavis in a tweet, tagging Aaditya Thackeray.
She also expressed her pride for the struggles of her hubby and each and every hard working member of Maharashtra BJP.
The latest political fracas arose over the February 15 objectionable remarks made by Pathan at an anti-CAA/NRC/NPR rally in Kalburagi, Karnataka – that the “15 crore (Muslims) will prove mightier than the 100 crore majority.”
“They say we have kept our women in the forefront. I want to tell these people — only the lionesses have come out and you are in a cold sweat. You can understand what would happen if all of us come together. We are just 15 crore but can be a bigger force than the 100 crore majority population,” Pathan said, adding the minority community could well snatch “your azaadi” (freedom).
After howls of protests across the country and cases registered against him in Karnataka, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh, Pathan issued a statement claiming he was quoted out of context and later took back his words on February 22.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])