The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s claim of working to fulfil the ”dream” of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray was a ploy to break the Marathi unity in Mumbai where civic polls are due.
”Why are you seeking votes in the name of Balasaheb? Has your Modi era, Modi wave started receding?” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ asked.
In June this year, Sena MLA Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators rebelled against the party leadership, leading to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government.
Shinde was then sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 along with BJP leader Fadnavis as his deputy. The editorial said leaders like Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP are now embracing the ”dream of Balasaheb”, but they did not remember the late Sena supremo while snapping ties with the party in 2014. They did not remember the dreams of Balasaheb while going back on the word of chief ministerial post to the Shiv Sena in 2019, it said.
”Fadnavis’s words are akin to the deceitful invitation of a fox, and people of Mumbai and Thane should be cautious,” the Marathi daily said. ”The language of ‘dream of Balasaheb’ used by the BJP is nothing but a ploy to break the Marathi unity in Mumbai and for that they are injuring the Shiv Sena,” it claimed.
The people who forgot (BJP veterans) Lal Krishna Advani, Atal Bihar Vajpayee, will they fulfil the dreams of Balasaheb? it asked. Today’s Bharatiya Janata Party is ”not the real BJP”, the editorial claimed and asked if the party, which belonged to Vajpayee and Advani, really exists.
”The BJP of Vajpayee was all about keeping the promise but it is not there now and that is why we left such BJP (alliance) and set out on a different path of ”Hindutva”.
”Our political stand is still the same. We are Hindutvawadi, but we are not the BJP’s slave. We are honest servants of Maharashtra, not the ‘charandas’ (servant) of Delhi,” the Sena said.
Further hitting out at Fadanvis, it said he is continuously chanting the name of Balasaheb. ”He is saying give us votes in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections and we (BJP) will fulfil Balasaheb’s dreams. What is this sham? Which dream of Balsaheb are you going to fulfil?” it asked.
”Your dream of creating a split in the Shiv Sena, was it the dream of Balasaheb? it asked.
Fadnavis was ”wise and profound” but that status is now denigrated in the company of the Eknath Shinde faction, it claimed. He (Fadnavis) does not speak on the issue of the state, he only speaks on the Shiv Sena. ”When Fadanvis was going and breaking Dahi Handis in Mumbai, thus competing with the Shiv Sena, at the same time threat messages were received from terrorists that they would launch an attack like 26/11,” the editorial said. Who does not want festivals like Dahi Handi, but if life is there, anything can be achieved, it said.
In the last two years, restrictions were imposed on festivals by Prime Minister Narendra Modi because of COVID-19, the editorial said. ”Today you say there are no restrictions on festivals. We improved the health of Maharashtra by making it COVID-free and gave the state to you,” it said.
On the day of Dahi Handi, 1,500 COVID-19 cases were reported, the editorial said, but did not specify where those infections were recorded.