"There were apprehensions that due to the MNS roadblock, the entire state would be paralyzed and the streets would be deserted.

With only the (MNS) activists visible, the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece, Saamana. "On the contrary, the streets were full of people but agitators returned home before 2 pm!" said the editorial, taking a dig at Raj Thackeray without naming him.

It was seen that the policemen on "bandobast" (arrangement) duty did nothing but kill flies and "many were wondering that where is the agitation going on? Never before in the history of the state has any major agitation ended in such a disaster," the edit piece said.

It was also pointed out that the minute the MNS top leaders were placed under preventive detention, the second and third rung leadership collapsed and the agitation fizzled out.

The Shiv Sena's viewpoint came in the wake of the MNS virtually hijacking its anti-toll agenda and grabbing the limelight with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, assuring concessions on the toll imbroglio that has gripped the state in the past few weeks.

The edit said that all political parties in the ruling democratic Front government as well as the MNS woke up only after the Shiv Sena's agitation.

Similarly, referring to the Shiv Sena's agitation against a Pakistani music band at the Mumbai Press Club, the edit said that its activists proudly spent a few days in jail, unlike the flop show by the MNS.

Hinting at a Congress understanding with the MNS and referring to Chavan's meeting with the MNS leadership, the edit said that the government has assured it would introduce a new toll regime before the Election Commission's model describing the code of conduct comes into force.

"The CM has given various assurances like abolishing toll on projects costing Rs.10 crore and less, removing smaller roads and projects out of the toll ambit and others. Now, shouldn't Chavan also declare how many seats MNS will contest in the next elections and its candidates?" the edit said in a sarcastic tone.

Adding to that the aggressive Shiv Sainiks said that there was no place for "drama" in the name of agitation, the Shiv Sena labeled Raj Thackeray as a "novice" whom the people have no option but to forgive.


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