Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamana faced ire from supporters of party's former Chief Minister Narayan Rane over a front-page feature with his caricature. The supporters burnt copies of the Marathi daily's issue and effigies of its editor in front of its headquarters in Mumbai June 12.
A group of Rane's supporters stoned Saamana's office in Pune late in night. Similar angry protests were held in Thane, Washi (Navi Mumbai) and places Rane's constituency Kanakavali-Malvan in Konkan.
Rane deserted Shiv Sena to join the Congress and is now Revenue Minister in the state cabinet. He has been eyeing to replace Chief Minister Vilas Deshmukh for quite some time. Media has speculated time and again that he would be made chief minister every time he makes a futile trip to Delhi to press his claim with the Congress high command. As part of this routine, this is followed by Deshmukh's light hearted banter indicating that he is firmly in saddle and Rane's one more effort has had no effect.
The latest tongue-in-cheek response from Deshmukh likened Rane to a Hindu bride who is confused for some time in her new house, but later on knows the functioning of the family. Saamana's feature made fun of Rane's state of mind and his status in the new party. A caricature along side showed him in a bridal attire.
Clearly, Rane's supporters were not amused.
Ironically, the incidents took place on the day when journalists in Mumbai had organised a meeting to protest against the attack on Loksatta editor Kumar Ketkar's house in Thane June five, which was termed as attack on freedom of press.
(First posted at http://www.thehoot.org/)