statesman news service
MUMBAI, 25 JUNE: Within hours of publishing a critical editorial on “parochial” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who had rushed to flood ravaged Uttarakhand to exclusively rescue 15,000 stranded pilgrims from his state, Saamna editor and Shiv Sena president Mr Uddhav Thackeray (file photo) today afternoon somersaulted and taking his harsh (written) words back lauded the “Rambo CM” for his extraordinary feat which he said ought to have been followed by other states and their chief ministers.
Addressing a Press conference, Mr Thackeray said his edit has been “grossly misconstrued” as anti-Modi. “ After all, the pilgrims from Gujarat are Hindus like from other states. Why could other chief ministers not take the same initiative to save their citizens?” wondered Mr Thackeray. He even praised Mr Modi for blossoming into a national leader.
Apparently, the purpose behind the Press conference was to clear “misgivings created by the editorial”. This has been the second edit in the week that took exception to Gujarat chief minister’s “brash and arrogant” behaviour. The edits have been soft on sulking BJP patriarch Mr Lal Krishna Advani.
The Saamna edit slammed Mr Modi’s media managers for going overboard to project Mr Modi as a great and unique saviour of his people. Mr Thackeray wrote: “ Why did Mr Modi opt to rescue only pilgrims from his state when it is a national calamity? Truly, the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police deserve credit for their selfless duty,” says the edit.
The Shiv Sena president hastened to reaffirm strong ties with the Hindutva ally Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Thackeray said the BJP president Mr Rajnath Singh who had called him few days ago at the Matoshree bungalow “candidly" told him the BJP values Shiv Sena as a natural ally and has "never thought of including any other political party from Maharashtra to join the NDA at the cost of their friendship”.