Shiv Sena has defended its party leader and Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar after an interview emerged in which she allegedly compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Hitler.
"In fact, she is an admirer of Modiji," said Sena leader in the BMC Trushna Vishwasrao. But the Mayor did not comment on the controversy herself, raising eyebrows.
Mumbai Mayor and Shiv Sena leader Snehal Ambekar
In an interview with a city-tabloid, the 43-year-old is reported to have said, "I admire Narendra Modi for his self-reliant way of working. But at some level, I feel his rule is quite like Hitler...
"This is bound to happen when power is concentrated in the hands of one man," said Ambekar, a first-time municipal corporator.
Elected the city's seventh woman and first Dalit woman mayor in September 2014, Ambekar has been seeking a red beacon for her vehicle.
The former Life Insurance Corp (LIC) officer claimed that her position in the city was akin to that of the chief minister.
"If a chief minister has red beacon, a mayor's status is pretty similar in terms of a city," she said.
Ambekar's comments were the latest in a series of the barbs the Shiv Sena has fired at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Both parties are allies in the centre and in Maharashtra.