Mumbai: The Shiv Sena continued its aggressive stance vis-a-vis the Bharatiya Janata Party and presented a green cap to Revenue, Minority Affairs & Wakf Minister Eknath Khadse for what it termed his "soft corner" for Muslims, here Monday.
The Sena's 63 members trooped inside the Vidhan Bhavan with full throated vigour and slogans on the first day of the three-day special legislative session for the swearing-in of the 287 newly-elected members of the state assembly.
Sena President Uddhav Thackeray
Sena senior leader Diwakar Raote brought a bright green cap with him which he intended to present to Khadse for the latter's proposal to introduce Urdu as an optional subject to students studying in Marathi medium schools in the state.
"Nobody has demanded this from the government. Even if one student opts for Urdu, they will have to appoint a teacher, make arrangements for 'namaz', and other requirements. What is the need for this?" Raote demanded, questioning the government's move to appease the minorities.
The Sena's attack on Khadse, currently the No.2 in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' cabinet, came a day after the party warned the BJP it would sit in the opposition if it (BJP) took the help of Nationalist Congress Party to prop up the minority government during the confidence vote here Wednesday, Nov 12.
Several Sena leaders have lauded party president Uddhav Thackeray's decision on this ticklish issue which resulted in the party boycotting the first cabinet expansion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Sunday, and the Sena recalling its nominee Anil Y. Desai minutes before the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The Shiv Sena legislators occupied the opposition benches during the swearing-in of legislators and earlier exchanged slogans of 'Jai Shivaji' versus BJP's 'Jai Shree Ram'.
The day started with Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao swearing in senior legislator J.P. Gavit as the pro-tem Speaker of the new assembly ahead of the crucial floor test by Fadnavis after two days.