Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre, NDA ally Shiv Sena has asked for a thorough probe into the controversial meeting between Indian journalist Ved Prakash Vaidik and Pakistan-based terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed. It said Vaidik’s meeting was an act of sedition.
Ved Pratap Vaidik with Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. (Photo courtesy- @DrVaidik on Twitter)
On Wednesday, an editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna said the Bharatiya Janata Party government should not end its responsibility by merely clarifying that it had nothing to do with the meeting in Pakistan. “Had the Congress been in power, BJP would have made a big issue out of Vaidik’s meeting with Hafiz Saeed,” said the editorial, which is seen as opinion of the party chief Uddhav Thackeray. “We (BJP and others) are in power now and hence the government is responsible for going to the roots of this entire episode which is detrimental to national security.”
The newspaper said Vaidik has been behaving as if he had a meeting with a social worker, and not with a sworn enemy of India. “Hunger for publicity is always dangerous. It’s a sin (for any Indian) to meet this demon and happily pose with him for photographs.”
Sena’s attack is crucial in view of BJP’s run-up to the assembly polls in Maharashtra. Sena and the BJP are now negotiating over seat-sharing and the CM’s post. A day before Sena’s outburst, BJP’s state unit had a prolonged meeting with its national president Amit Shah for strategizing in the assembly polls.
The Saamna said, “Vaidik’s meeting is as sensitive as the disappearance of the four youth from Mumbai, who have joined jehadi forces in Iraq. If we allow this journalist to go scot-free then any person from here (India) would share a biryani with (terrorists) Dawood (Ibrahim), Tiger Memon and Hafiz.”