Even after the Shiv Sena tried to distance itself from the Sena leader Nitin Nandgaonkar’s warning to a Mumbai sweet owner to drop its shop name, it’s an embarrassing occasion for the ruling party as well as Uddhaav Thackeray since taking over as chief minister of the state.
A sweet shop owner in Mumbai’s Bandra West was forced to cover his shop sign with newspaper pages after the Sena leader Nitin Nandgaokar wanted Karachi dropped from its name. A video of the exchange between the two was caught on camera in which Nandgaokar was heard asking the owner to change the word ‘Karachi’ to “something in Marathi”. “You have to do it, we’re giving you time. Change ‘Karachi’ to something in Marathi,” Nandgaokar was heard saying.
However, the Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut, clarified that the demand for changing the shop’s name is not the party’s official stance. Raut took to Twitter and said, “Karachi bakery and Karachi sweets have been in Mumbai since last 60 years. They have nothing to do with Pakistan. It makes no sense to ask for changing their names now. Demand for changing their name is not Shiv Sena’s official stance.”
However, political pundits feel that it would adversely affect the party in coming civic elections as a seizable Sindhi and Punjabi population in the state, particularly from Mumbai, were once voters of Sena, now annoyed with the ruling party on the issue. Surprisingly, neither a senior NCP nor a Congress leader reacted on it. Both the parties are main allies of the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government led by Thackeray.
On the other hand, the former chief minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took up the issue and in a strong pitch for ‘Akhand Bharat’, he said one day Karachi will be part of India. “We believe in ‘Akhand Bharat’ (undivided India) and we believe that one day Karachi will be part of India,” he had said while reacting on the issue.
As Karachi Sweets got embroiled in a controversy, celebrity hairstylist-entertainment personality Sapna Bhavnani expressed her displeasure over the ‘bullying’ that a local store had to experience. She was unhappy about the owners hiding the sign board and about the police not taking any action. Sapna visited the Karachi Sweets store in Bandra and shared pictures of the name board being covered with newspapers. She revealed that she spoke to the police inspector from Bandra police station, who was also present. She shared that the cop just ‘spoke and left’ without ‘dropping any official paperwork’ on it.
Its surprise that the ruling state government that often books people on trivial issues, like comments or remarks against ruling party leaders in tweeters and social media, now keep mum on the issue when a Sena leader was “terrorising” a shop owner to change its name.