Following the controversial editorial targeting Gujaratis carried by the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, NCP leader and Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil today alleged that Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was usually not consulted by the editorial writers.
While Uddhav is the editor of the paper, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut is the executive editor. It is Raut who has been writing the editorials for the past many years.
The editorial, which came on anniversary of Maharashtra's formation, insinuated that Gujarati businessmen in Mumbai who were now "busy planning who to install in the Prime Minister's chair" did not show enough solidarity with the Maharashtrians in celebrating the Maharashtra day.
"They were forced to apologise over the editorial. Uddhav is not consulted before the editorial is written. A question is being raised about Saamana's credibility," Patil said while talking to reporters.
Congress too hit out at the Sena. "This is nothing but opportunistic politics. Why has this (issue) been raised after April 24, when polling got over in Maharashtra, and April 30, when Gujarat voted? Now that the editorial has boomeranged, the party is running for cover," MPCC spokesman Sachin Sawant said.
"Why Shiv Sena is silent when the Mehsana Milk Federation, at the behest of Gujarat government, demands Rs 22.5 crore for the cattle fodder provided as a help to Mahananda Dairy during the drought in Maharashtra, or when Narendra Modi criticises Maharashtra," Sawant asked.