The "huge" crowd at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Dussehra rally in Mumbai showed who leads the real Shiv Sena, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Thursday.
He also dubbed the other rally held by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday as "Shimga", a pejorative term used to describe abusive rhetoric.
He himself did not listen to the speeches of both Thackeray and Shinde when they were underway, the BJP leader said.
He was busy with the Dhammachara Pravartan Din celebration in Nagpur but got the gist of the two speeches and listened to Shinde's speech on YouTube later, Fadnavis said.
"I will not give any reaction on Uddhav Thackeray's speech. No need to give reaction on `Shimga', he told reporters.
The Shimga celebration in parts of Maharashtra ahead of the Holi festival involves lighting of bonfires, but revellers using cuss words or obscene language in a light-hearted way was also customary during the festival once.
"There was nothing in the speech except Shimga," Fadnavis said.
"There was a huge gathering at the BKC ground whose capacity is the double of that of Shivaji Park (where Thackeray spoke), and the BKC ground was filled to the brim... Shiv Sainiks proved that Shinde's Sena is the real Shiv Sena and that is why I would like to congratulate him," the BJP leader further said.
On opposition's jibe that Shinde, who rebelled against Thackeray's leadership in June this year and broke away to form a new government, read out the BJP's `script' at the rally, Fadnavis said those who say this should find a new writer.
"How many times you will say the same thing? Ask your writer to use creativity or get a new writer," he said.
Fadnavis, a former chief minister, parried a question about Thackeray's assertion that he was ready to swear on his parents that the BJP had promised the CM's post to the Shiv Sena for half the term before the 2019 elections.
He had already given his reaction, Fadnavis said.
The reason for the split in the Shiv Sena was that Thackeray put Shiv Sena's ideology aside and accepted the NCP and Congress's ideology and sat beside people `who had connections with the Mumbai blasts and those who abuse freedom fighter V D Savarkar', he said.
"I should congratulate Shinde as he talked about development. He talked about what we are doing and he talked about what we are planning to do. This was missing when Uddhav Thackeray was CM. He always spoke like a party chief," Fadnavis said.
-With PTI Input