Shiv Sena launches yet another attack on BJP
Critics of the BJP government say that it failed to pressurise the police to take quick action.
Mumbai — Strung at being sidelined continuously in the Maharashtra government, the Shiv Sena on Monday mounted yet another attack on its senior partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), questioning its failure to arrest the killers of a communist leader.
The Republican Party of India workers during the shutdown being observed in Maharashtra to protest the cold-blooded murder of Govind Pansare in Mumbai. — PTI
An editorial in Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, blasted BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for coming out with lame excuses for the failure of his government to arrest those behind the killing of Govind Pansare, a communist leader from Kolhapur. Pansare, 82, had for years campaigned against the collection of road taxes in Kolhapur and was shot at by assailants last week.
He succumbed to his injuries a few days later.
Critics of the BJP government say that it failed to pressurise the police to take quick action. There have been comparisons with the shoddy investigations by the police into the killing of Pune-based rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was also shot dead in August 2013, following his campaign against superstition and black magic.
The Sena editorial also compared the two killings and said the state governments and the chief ministers had changed between 2013 and now, but the system remained the same. Many people were demanding the resignation of Fadnavis, who also handles the home portfolio, the editorial observed.
The chief minister had earlier blamed the police for the slow pace of investigations into Pansare’s killing. The Sena editorial slammed Fadnavis for not having trust in his own force. Last month, the paper had criticised him for not taking steps to prevent the continued instances of farmer suicides in Vidarbha, a backward region — which has seen thousands of such deaths in recent years. Fadnavis belongs to Nagpur, which is in Vidarbha.
Relations between the two saffron partners have been uneasy after the BJP came to power in Maharashtra last year after emerging as the single-largest party. While it managed to win the confidence vote in the house with the backing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Sena (which had voted against the BJP government) was forced to scale down its demands and accept junior posts in the state government.
The Sena has also not been given any key positions at the centre, where it is a member of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Senior BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah have been ignoring the Sena, which in the past was used to top BJP leaders such as former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani calling on the late Bal Thackeray, the founder of the party.
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