Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday advised Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to avoid a face-off over the annual Dussehra rally of the Shiv Sena.
Both the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and the rebel faction headed by Mr Shinde have sought the Shivaji Park ground in Mumbai as the venue for the annual Dussehra rally of the party.
“A Chief Minister should avoid confrontation and take everyone along,” Mr Pawar, a former Chief Minister, said when asked by reporters about the issue.
Shiv Sena, founded by Bal Thackeray in 1966, has been holding Dussehra rally since its inception.
Mr Shinde led a revolt against Uddhav Thackeray in June this year which led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress.
Asked about Mr Pawar’s advise, Shinde faction’s spokesperson Naresh Mhaske invoked past face-offs involving the Thackerays.
“When then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray got Union minister Narayan Rane arrested while he was having his meal, did Pawar advise Thackeray to avoid confrontation? When ‘Yuvraj’ (apparent reference to Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray) makes comments against Shinde, does Pawar ask him to exercise restraint?” Mr Mhaske asked.
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