BJP MP Kirit Somaiya today alleged that Shiv Sena workers, led by a local leader, tried to kill him "as part of a plan" and urged Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar to "unearth the plot mastermind". "The Sena vibhag pramukh has publicly owned up to responsibility for the attack on me and other BJP workers on Tuesday. The Police Commissioner should probe who was the mastermind of the plot to kill me," he told PTI. "At their Dussehra rally, Sena leaders spoke of surgical strikes if the alliance was broken for the BMC polls. Did they mean this (attempt on my life) by surgical strike," Somaiya said, without naming Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. At a 'Ravan dahan' (Ravan burning) function at suburban Mulund, where Somaiya was present, a scuffle broke out between his partymen and Shiv Sainiks, resulting in injuries to a few. The BJP MP has been targeting the Shiv Sena over "corruption" in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and at the function, he reportedly described Ravan as the "BMC mafia" which apparently irked the Shiv Sainiks. Somaiya today wrote a letter to the Police Commissioner, in which he alleged that "over a hundred persons in vehicles" were waiting at the venue to launch an attack on him. "After the Ravan dahan, after most of the BJP activists had left the venue and as I came out to get into my car, they suddenly rushed at me with weapons," he alleged. "We thank you for arresting 13 persons who attacked me with weapons," he added. "It seems, their plan was to kill/incapacitate me to protect their bosses/mafias. It was a well-designed attack of the group/mafias/party," Somaiya alleged without naming the Sena. "They waited till the programme got over and all the BJP activists had gone away and attacked me when I was alone," he added. The BJP leader also thanked the Personal Security Officer (PSO) provided by the Police Commissioner to him, saying he saved his life. "It must be noted that seven BJP activists (including three women), while protecting me, sustained major injuries (fractures) and were admitted to Hira Monghi Hospital at Mulund. Had police/PSO not taken me away, these goondas would have killed me," he alleged. "We expect action against those involved, including the mastermind, who has stated in a TV interview that they had planned it and will repeat it.
It is nothing but an attempt to silence me for raising my voice against the Rs-5,000 crore corruption in the BMC by the mafia," said Somaiya.
(REOPENS BOM 30) Meanwhile, reacting to the alleged assault on Somaiya and the BJP MP's allegations against the Shiv Sena, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said the tussle between the two alliance partners -- BJP and Shiv Sena -- was mere "drama". "The alliance between these two parties for the last 25 years is nothing but a political theatre. Whenever elections approach, the two parties indulge in fights which has become a customary thing now," he said. "I want to ask Somaiya, how come his own party is not a partner in the corruption in BMC? How can he and his party wash their hands off corruption," said Nirupam. Terming the entire episode a "political drama" and a "strategy", Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) general secretary Shalini Thackeray said Somaiya's allegations did not seem to be true. "This is nothing but their strategy and drama which they do when elections draw closer. People have been suffering due to the corrupt practices adopted by these two parties for years. But, they are smart enough to know that this blame game is just an eyewash. "I cannot understand why any party would attack anyone only when an election approaches," she said. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon described the "feud" between the two parties as "shameful and dangerous" for the state. "I do not know who wants to kill whom, but it is certain that the unholy alliance between the two parties has proved to be fatal and their style of governance is killing the common people of the state," she said. "Not even a single law has been passed by this government, led by these two parties. Be it in the transport sector or regarding women's welfare or in the cooperative sector. Ministers, MLAs and MPs are busy in internal fights and entire Maharashtra is suffering," she said.