By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Aug 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) In an unprecedented ruckus, rebel Shiv Sena MLAs supporting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) legislators were seen jostling, abusing, pushing around each other and indulging in a bout of fisticuffs, outside the Maharashtra Legislature building here on Wednesday.
Seething at the ongoing tirade by MVA labelling the Shinde Group as 'gaddars' (traitors) and '50 khoke' (Rs 50 crore), Shinde Group legislators retaliated in full force, sparking outrage in political circles.
A few MLAs of Shinde Group accosted the MVA legislators who were raising slogans against the government for the fourth day since the Legislature started its monsoon session last week, resulting in shoving among the two sides.
At one point, a Shinde Group MLA Dilip Lande and Nationalist Congress Party's Amol Mitkari engaged in mild blows and lunged at each other even as their respective groups pulled and separated them.
The Shinde Group MLAs also hit back by shouting their own slogans and waving posters to counter the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress' rants, creating a brouhaha outside the legislature.
'(Sachin) Vaze-BMC Khoke, Matoshri, Shiv Sena Ok', 'Lavasa Khoke, Baramati Ok', screamed the Shinde Group MLAs, trying to over-shout the MVA legislators.
The development, a new low in politics, came a day after Shinde 'warned' the Opposition that "he could expose records of those targeting him and his group" of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
The Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar reacted sharply saying that the CM's statements amounted to a 'threat' to the Opposition.
The Opposition has been needling the Bharatiya Janata Party-propped Shinde government with embarrassing slogans like 'gaddar', 'Rs 50 crore, very ok', 'Tav Vati, Chao Guwahati' (Plates and bowl, Go to Guwahati), and 'ED jiski mummy, Wo sarkar nikammi' (the government whose mummy is ED is useless).
Both MLA Mahesh Shinde and Mitkari have lodged separate complaints against each other with CM Shinde and Speaker Rahul Narwekar, demanding a probe into the incident by examining the CCTV footage, even as a female journalist was also pushed around in the melee.
Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, NCP State President Jayant Patil, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, Congress' Yashomati Thakur and other leaders from different parties attacked the Shinde Group accusing them of making brazen attempts to "crush the democratic protests and silencing the Opposition".
"Our agitation on '50 khoke' has hit a raw nerve... That's why they have reacted in this manner," said Pawar grimly.
Jayant Patil said the whole country has witnessed the arough' behaviour of the Shinde Group MLAs and the electorate will not forgive them, while Mitkari demanded to know whether the Opposition legislators would be 'finished off'.
Other Shinde Group lawmakers, including Bharat Gogawale and Dilip Lande, snarled that they were "loyal Shiv Sainiks of Balasaheb Thackeray" and would not desist from teaching a lesson to anybody who dares them, while Mahesh Shinde claimed the Opposition MVA was trying to 'smother' their peaceful protest.
The MVA's daily protests and sloganeering started from August 17, and splashed widely in the media, apparently unnerving the rebel Shiv Sena Group and culminating in the CM losing his composure in the legislature on Tuesday.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: email@example.com)