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Sena on backfoot,says won’t stop My Name is Khan

A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi pulled off a successful visit to Mumbai despite attempts by the Shiv Sena to disrupt...

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 7, 2010 2:39:52 am

A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi pulled off a successful visit to Mumbai despite attempts by the Shiv Sena to disrupt it,the saffron party indicated that the odds against its parochial campaign to claim Mumbai for Maharashtrians were huge and sarcastically announced that it would not waste its time trying to obstruct the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s film My Name is Khan or oppose Pakistani and Australian cricketers playing in Maharashtra.

“For who are we doing these things? For what?” the party asked in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna,adding that these sentiments were not provoked by disappointment but a feeling of helplessness over not being able to rekindle the minds of Congressmen. “So we want to take a decision. Let Congresswallahs rule us… Let Pakistani cricketers come and play anywhere in this country,let Australians continue with their attacks on Indians,let Pakistan continue with terror attacks like 26/11,” the editorial said.

“Let Shah Rukh’s film My Name is Khan run in any cinema theatre for any number of days with the blessings of the Italian lady and the prince. Shiv Sena won’t oppose it. Shiv Sena won’t stop you from doing so. Why should our Sainiks hurt themselves,get skinned and go to jail unnecessarily?” But before concluding,Saamna warned that the Sena,however,would not sit quiet if any attempt is made to sever Mumbai from Maharashtra as the party thinks the Congress plans to.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre said the Sena seems to have realised that its tactics were not working and was probably making a course correction. “It is a fight between the Sena and the MNS,” he told The Sunday Express. “Rahulji’s visit has endorsed that parochial politics has no place in Maharashtra and Maharashtrians do not support such kind of politics. the Sena has ultimately realised that it will not succeed no matter what it did to revive its fortunes.”

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Mohan Prakash,the AICC secretary in charge of Maharashtra affairs said,“Rahulji’s visit has sent a positive message across the country. People from all parts of the country are feeling confident… The Sena’s despair has arisen out of the failure of negative politics that thrived on the fear of people. It is like a goonda trying to intimidate a famous personality just to instill fear among the people¿but if someone stands up to him and slaps him,he loses face. That is what has happened after Rahulji’s visit.”

Sanjay Raut,executive editor of Saamna and Rajya Sabha MP,however,said the party’s sentiments were more out of dejection and denied that it was going on the backfoot. “People should try and understand the sentiments of Balasaheb in the editorial comment,” he said. “It is not withdrawal,but dejection that the Congress rulers don’t understand the sentiments behind the Sena’s agitation on these issues.”

SRK: Have not said anything anti-national

MUMBAI: Back in Mumbai,Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday stuck to his comments on Pakistani players in IPL saying there was nothing “anti-national” and ruled out meeting the Shiv Sena supremo on his own to sort out the controversy. The actor was escorted to his house under tight security even though there were no Shiv Sainiks to protest against him or obstruct him.

“I have not said anything that is anti-national or anti-Indian. I stand by what I said and I would like to say that maybe the group has misunderstood me. There is no other reason because I have not said anything I should feel sorry about,” Khan,who arrived here after a whirlwind promotional tour of New York,London and Berlin,told reporters.

“I only said what every Indian should say. It is in the Constitution. I don’t want to use big words. If I say anything it will be misconstrued and turned around,” Khan said .

“I am what I am because of Mumbai and I would like everyone in Mumbai to be happy. I think what is happening is very unfortunate. I think all the groups also want Mumbaikars to be happy then why create this kind of atmosphere,” the actor said.

“Yes,I would like to go and have drink with him (Thackeray). But on this matter,I don’t see…there is no reason for going and asking…but if my stand needs to be explained to someone,I have already done it. I don’t think there is an issue on that front,” Khan said. PTI

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