War between NCP, MNS heats up; security stepped up at both offices
The verbal duel between Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and senior National Congress Party (NCP) leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar triggered another political heat wave in the city.
Following stone pelting Raj Thackeray's convoy in Ahmednagar on Tuesday, a group of 10 to 15 activists of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS), the students' wing of the MNS, attacked the NCP's city office on Tilak Road around 12 pm on Tuesday. The activist allegedly threw petrol bombs at the NCP office, damaging several flower pots, and even setting a hoarding bearing Pawar's photograph on fire.
To condemn the attack, NCP leaders and activists took out a protest rally in the city on Wednesday morning. The rally started from NCP's Tilak Road office and was heading towards city office of MNS in Narayan Peth. However, the Pune police appealed the NCP activists to maintain law and order in the view of the ongoing HSC exams.
Later in the day, NCP activists held a meeting near Shanipar. The meeting was attended by senior city NCP leaders, including mayor Vaishali Bankar, spokesperson Ankush Kakade, NCP corporators, all of whom condemned the MNS for attacking the NCP office. Meanwhile, Jitendra Takale of NCP lodged a complaint against Ashish Sabale, city unit president of MNVS and his aides for attacking the party office at Tilak Road, at Khadak police station. Police booked the MNVS activities under Section 143, 147, 148, 435, 436, 427 of IPC. Police has launched a search operation for the MNVS activists, who had attacked the NCP office.
Police also held five MNS activists for allegedly burning a tyre and blocking Kalewadi roads in Pimpri on Wednesday. DCP (special branch) M B Tambade said security has been stepped up around all MNS and NCP offices in the city.