‘Auto that left Mercedes behind’: Eknath Shinde returns Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘auto driver’ jibe as Sena spat turns ugly

This is the first time that the two Shiv Sena leaders have engaged in a public spat since Shinde led a successful rebellion against Thackeray.

Uddhav Thackeray, Eknath Shinde engage in heated public spat.

Taking a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s past, former CM Uddhav Thackeray, hitting out at Shinde’s Assembly speech during the trust vote, called him an auto driver “whose brakes failed as it was running too fast.” Soon, a war of words ensued as Shinde hit back saying “the speed of auto has left Mercedes behind.”

This is the first time that the two Shiv Sena leaders have engaged in a public spat since Shinde led a successful rebellion against Thackeray. Calling Shinde a traitor, Uddhav Thackeray, in his address to Shiv Sena women’s wing leaders at Sena Bhawan on Tuesday, said, “The Assembly speech on Monday made it clear as to when the conspiracy (of rebellion) had started. The deputy CM (Devendra Fadnavis) was telling him (Shinde) to stop … but the brakes of the vehicle had failed, how will it stop? Earlier they (BJP) used to call the MVA government as three-wheeler government, now the one who drives a three-wheeler is running the government….”

Reacting to Thackeray’s remarks, Shinde tweeted, “Auto’s speed was so fast that Mercedes was left behind as this is the government of common man.” This was an apparent jibe at Thackeray since he is often seen driving a Mercedes.

Calling Shinde and the rebel MLAs out for breaking his trust, Thackeray said, “The ones who were given the reins of the party (Shinde) were the ones who stabbed it in the back. This is the most embarrassing and shameful thing.”

Thackeray went on to shower praise for the MVA alliance partners –Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress — for backing him even when his party was reduced to a minority and said that “those who were against us for 30 years were standing with the party.”

Incidentally, Shiv Sena’s alliance with NCP and Congress turned into a sore point as the Shinde camp felt that Uddhav Thackeray had entered into an “unnatural” alliance and in doing so, has drifted further away from party founder and Uddhav Thackeray’s father Balasaheb’s idea of Hindutva.

Blaming BJP for the collapse of his government, Thackeray said that the real idea was to completely finish off the party, and that Eknath Shinde has no idea that he is under BJP’s control. “The plan is to make Shiv Sainiks fight with each other. They are not only aiming to break Shiv Sena, but they want to finish it off and this bearded man (Eknath Shinde) is the face they have put forth to fight. Even he (Shinde) doesn’t know that he is also throttled and is under their control. Yesterday, his mic was snatched (by deputy CM during a press conference). He won’t even know what else will be snatched from him in the future,” Thackeray said.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

Most Read In India News