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Bal calls Rahul frustrated; Cong reacts
Mumbai/ New Delhi/Varanasi, Feb 3 (IANS)
Published on 4 Feb. 2010 12:44 AM IST
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In a vicious, personal attack on Rahul Gandhi for his comments on Mumbai, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray Wednesday said frustration sets in when a person doesn’t get married “despite advancing age” and the Congress MP was also “victim of this disease”. Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his statements on the role of north Indians in protecting Mumbai during the 26/11 terror attacks, Thackeray said in an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna: “It seems that since Rahul won’t grow any further physically, he has now grown horns and wisdom teeth to make such statements.”“Despite advancing age, if a person does not get married, he becomes frustrated, even Rahul seems to be a victim of this disease and makes stupid remarks,” Thackeray lashed out. “Rahul speaks of the north Indians’ contribution during the 26/11 attacks, but in Kashmir, maximum number of soldiers from Maharashtra sacrificed themselves to protect the national borders. By his senseless utterances, he has spat on the sacrifices of the brave Marathis and other security personnel during the Mumbai attacks. Each and every Maharashtrian must deplore him,” the editorial said. Denying that the Sena ever advocated separating Mumbai from the rest of the country, Thackeray said the party does not need lessons on this from “Prince” Rahul, especially since his party Congress was responsible for the division of the country. “Now, these people talk of unity.”He warned that whoever tried to challenge Maharashtrians would have to bow before them. “Let ‘Prince’ Rahul study history and he would know how his great grandfather Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had to apologise to the people of Maharashtra. Let the Prince not repeat such mistakes,” he said. Thackeray declared that the entire country indeed had a right over Mumbai, but the first and foremost right was of Maharashtrian sons-of-the-soil who speak Marathi. meanwhile, the Congress hit back at Bal Thackeray for his vicious attack on its general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday, with one leader labelling the Shiv Sena chief a “paper tiger” and another saying that people should retire from public life after a certain age. Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said in the Uttar Pradesh town of Varanasi that Thackeray was a “paper tiger” and his comments were aimed at only hogging the limelight in the media. “He (Bal Thackeray) is nothing more than a paper tiger, whose sole intention is to remain in the media glare...And for this, he makes such comments and the Shiv Sena men indulge in violent activities,” Digvijay Singh told reporters in Varanasi, about 250 km from the state capital Lucknow. “People should not pay any heed to him...We know very well how courageous they (Thackerays) are, considering the fact that they did not speak anything nearly one month after 26/11.” “One should retire from public life after a certain age,” Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed added about the 84-year-old Thackeray. Referring to Thackeray’s age, he said some people lose the ability to distinguish between right and wrong as they grow in years. “Some people, as they age, lose balance to know what should be said and done, and what not. They should retire from public life and stop commenting on public issues,” Ahmed told IANS in New Delhi. Ahmed said Thackeray was trying to be the self-appointed spokesperson of the people of Maharashtra but the same people had rejected his party and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in successive elections.

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