Shiv Sena signals return to pro-Marathi agenda post-split

Shiv Sena signals return to pro-Marathi agenda post-splitMUMBAI: A day after the split in the saffron alliance, Shiv Sena today lashed out at BJP, calling it “enemy of Maharashtra”, signalling a return to its original pro-Marathi agenda for next month’s Assembly polls.

“Our other (Mahayuti) alliance parties wanted the Sena-BJP association to continue. More than that, it was what the 11 crore people of Maharashtra wanted. Those who trampled these sentiments are enemies of Maharashtra,” Shiv Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“This (breaking of alliance) is an insult to the 105 Marathi martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement,” the editorial went on to say.

It also termed as “unfortunate” the demise of the long-standing alliance between the two ideologically compatible pro-Hindutva parties.

“It is unfortunate that the Sena-BJP alliance, which for the last 25 years was bound by the Hindutva ideology, has ended. We made sincere efforts till the end to ensure that the alliance with BJP and other parties of Mahayuti remained intact,” the editorial said.

“Those who till yesterday were praying in this tent are now offering namaz in the other tent,” it said, apparently targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his recent remarks praising the “patriotism” of Indian Muslims.

“Soon the realisation will dawn that those who flew away (BJP) were crows of ‘pitrapaksh’ and those who remain are Mavle (a term used for Chhhatrapati Shivaji’s soldiers),” the editorial said.

Referring to senior Congress leader Narayan Rane’s recent allegation that the BJP-led government at the Centre was trying to reduce the importance of Mumbai as the country’s financial capital by shifting RBI’s foreign exchange divisions to Delhi, the editorial said, “Today Congress leaders are decrying conspiracy to reduce the state’s importance. But Morarji Desai too was of flesh and blood of Congress.”

It was during Desai’s tenure as Chief Minister that 105 volunteers of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement were killed while demanding a separate state for Marathi-speaking people with Bombay as its capital.

Congress and its leaders should not worry about the future of a united Mumbai and Maharashtra because Shiv Sena and the saffron flag will protect Maharashtra, the ‘Saamana’ editorial said.

Referring to the scenario of multi-cornered fights in the ensuing Assembly elections following break up of both saffron and Congress-NCP alliances, it said, “The Amavasya (moonless night) in the life of Maharashtra has ended and the auspicious days of Navaratri have begun.”

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who has not yet reacted to the break up of the alliance, will make his views known at a public rally in Mumbai tomorrow, party sources said. -PTI

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