People opposing Shiv Sena’s stance can go to Pakistan: Ramdas Kadam

Mumbai: In a remark which may kick off a controversy, senior Shiv Sena leader and state environment minister Ramdas Kadam asked those who opposed Sena’s stance against cultural and sporting ties with Pakistan and supported the unfurling of Pakistani flags on Indian soil to go to Pakistan.

Moreover, in yet another clash between two ruling allies, Kadam launched a blistering attack on the BJP for supporting cricketing ties with Pakistan, and lashed out at Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar for his statements against the Sena leadership.

On Monday, Shiv Sena activists had stormed the BCCI office in Mumbai protesting the plans for a bilateral cricket series with Pakistan.

This came on the heels of its successful protest which saw an event by Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali being cancelled and the release of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch passing off without a hitch despite the Shiv Sena’s threat to disrupt it, albeit due to the BJP-led state government providing massive police protection. Shiv Sainiks had also blackened the face of senior journalist and Observer Research Foundation (ORF) chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni, the organizer of Kasuri’s book launch, on the morning when the event was scheduled.

“I feel those who talk against the Shiv Sena today (on its opposition to Pakistan) should go to Pakistan if they have so much love for it. The country was partitioned on religious grounds, Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion… so if slogans of Pakistan zindabad are being given again in the country, Pakistani flags are being unfurled and (if someone is) supporting (those who do it), then chale jao Pakistan… it is a country for Muslim people,” said Kadam, while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

“The jawans, who protect our borders, are being attacked by Pakistan, they are infiltrating our borders, Pakistani terrorism has not stopped,” noted Kadam, adding that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s stance that there should be no sporting or cultural ties between the two countries till this was done was supported by the people.

He added that allowing Pakistani artistes to perform in India and their cricket team to play here would amount to the government “rubbing salt on the wounds of the families of shahid jawans” and advocated the need to pay Pakistan back in the same coin.

“Let Raosaheb Danve meet the families of those jawans who were martyred, hear them out and decide on his stance,” said Kadam, when asked for his reaction to the state BJP president’s statement supporting cricketing ties with Pakistan. Danve had also said that the state government would provide security if the city were to host matches between the two countries.

Kadam launched a blistering attack on Shelar, who has repeatedly targeted the Sena, and pointed to how Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad had visited the Thackeray family residence of Matoshree during the time of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. “This is being done to defame the Shiv Sena… before the (BMC) polls (due in 2017),” he added.

Kadam noted that “the bus service between the two countries” (started during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime) and the two prime minister’s shaking hands” had not helped. He added it was not correct to listen to music by Pakistani artistes when our jawans were dying on the border and admitted that the co-ordination between the Shiv Sena and BJP was falling short.