In a first war of words between former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and current CM Eknath Shinde since the rebellion in Shiv Sena broke out on June 21, the Sena president on Tuesday took a jibe at Shinde’s speech in the Assembly, calling him an auto driver “whose brakes failed as it was running too fast”. Hitting back, Shinde said that his was a government of common man and that “the speed of auto has left Mercedes behind”.

Addressing a meeting of Shiv Sena women’s wing at Sena Bhawan on Tuesday, Thackeray indirectly referred to the rebel MLAs, including Shinde, as traitors and took a jibe at the latter, who used to work as an auto rickshaw driver in the past. “The Assembly speech on Monday made it clear as to when the conspiracy (of rebellion) had started. The deputy CM (Devendra Fadnavis) was telling him (Shinde) to stop … but the brakes of the vehicle had failed, how will it stop? Earlier they (BJP) used to call the MVA government as three-wheeler government, now the one who drives a three-wheeler is running the government…,” Thackeray said.

Replying to Uddhav’s jibe, Shinde took to Twitter and wrote: “Auto’s speed was so fast that Mercedes was left behind as this is the government of common man.” Notably, Thackeray has often been seen driving a Mercedes.