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Mumbai: Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar has slammed the Shiv Sena, calling its rhetoric a display of fake patriotism and asking the party to work alongside the BJP for the development of Maharashtra, according to a Zee Media report.
The Shiv Sena on Tuesday felicitated the attackers of former BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni, The Sena activists had ‘inked’ Kulkarni’s face in protest against him organising a book launch by former Pakistan foreign minister Khalid Kasuri in Mumbai. The book launch went along as planned amid high security.
“Those who teach others patriotism should first answer three questions. Where was the Shiv Sena’s love for the country when it eagerly invited former Pakistani captain Javed Miandad, a close relative of wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, to India? Why did the Shiv Sena not remember its commitment to nationalism when its members attended the concert of Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at the Taj Mahal?”, Ashish Shelar asked.
“Lastly, the Sena also called for the release from jail of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was an accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Where was the anti-Pakistan rhetoric and patriotic fervour back then?,” he questioned.
Defending Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Shelar pointed out that the CM had been at the forefront of the Kashmir Bachao Andolan. He had been arrested after hoisting the tricolour at Srinagar. “Those who don’t hoist the tricolour even in their own offices should not talk about nationalism,” Shelar hit back.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whom Sena reveres so much, always called for respecting the enemy, said Shelar. The Mumbai BJP chief said the Sena’s actions showed they had never understood the philosophy of Shivaji. He claimed that the Shiv Sena had once insulted Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar by boycotting a programme in his honour at Indu Mills Compound.
He also accused the saffron outfit of insulting army jawans who lay down their lives for the country, by comparing them to misbehaving street kids who blacken people’s faces with ink.
Shelar warned the Sena to avoid the display of false nationalism with elections in mind. He said the Shiv Sena should instead support the Fadnavis-led BJP government for the sake of development.
“Otherwise the people of India will punish the Sena for its fake display of patriotism one day,” said Shelar.
Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had asked the BJP to quit the Maharashtra government if they had a ‘problem’ with Sena activists blackening the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni. “We are not planning to quit the government, those who have problem with us can quit. If BJP can form a government on their own, they can do that,” he had said.
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Every worker or a person fighting against Pakistan is a soldier, Shiv Sena workers are also soldiers,” he said about the party’s recent opposition to singer Ghulam Ali concert and author KM Kasuri. “If we give Param Vir chakra, Vir Chakra to warriors who fight with Pak, what’s wrong in felicitating people who did this,” Raut said about the felicitation of the Sudheendra Kulkarni’s attackers by Uddhav Thackeray.