The uneasy alliance between the BJP government in Maharashtra and its partner Shiv Sena continues to shake as the latter has launched a fresh attack on the BJP chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over his ‘tolerance’ comment.
In the latest editorial in its party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Shiv Sena has sarcastically written that India should continue to be “tolerant” and “play host to Pakistanis” despite the uneasy relationship between the two countries.
While speaking at the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Pune, Maharashtra chief minister Fadnavis had said on Saturday that India had been and would continue to remain a “tolerant nation”.
In its editorial, Saamana said India is a 100 per cent tolerant nation considering the “red carpet welcome” it gives to Pakistanis.
“They [Maharashtra government] gave a red carpet welcome to [former Pakistan External Affairs minister] Khurshid Kasuri [recently] and provided him security and now talks of tolerance. India should continue being tolerant and play host to Pakistanis despite infiltrations and numerous killings at the border,” it said. “If this is tolerance, India was and will continue to remain a tolerant nation.”
The Shiv Sena said that when its workers stopped Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali from performing in Maharashtra, states like West Bengal, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh invited him to perform.
“Terrorists were attacking our Air Force base in Pathankot and soldiers were dying there… some politicians were welcoming Ghulam Ali when there was firing and bomb blasts taking place. If this is what tolerance is, India is a hundred per cent tolerant nation. Do these people have the right to call themselves Indians anymore?” the editorial questioned.
Then, while attacking the Congress party’s Karnataka government, the editorial said that it had displayed an exemplary tolerance by banning the film “Marathi Tigers” at the border. “Will our chief minister answer the tolerance shown by Karnataka government by banning the film that gave a voice to people of Belgaum?” it asked.
In November, a day after the Bihar Assembly elections results were declared, the Shiv Sena said the outcome “could change the course of national politics in the days ahead” and openly “celebrated” BJP rout at the hands of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar.
Commending Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad for their victory, the Saamna in another editorial had taken a jibe at the BJP for its premature celebrations in New Delhi and Patna before the results became known.
The BJP, which held 91 seats in the outgoing house, was reduced to less than 60 along with its allies, but Lalu Prasad, accused by BJP of hoisting “jungle raj and corruption” bagged the largest number of seats.