The Shiv Sena has slammed the Modi government’s decision to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, stating that it was reminiscent of Congress strategies in the 1980s.
In an editorial titled ‘Democracy’s death or murder?’ in party mouthpiece Saamna on Wednesday, the party also called their alliance in Maharashtra a “temporary arrangement of political convenience, one borne out of compulsion”.
The BJP has been facing immense criticism from Opposition parties as well as a few allies over its attempts to oust the Harish Rawat-led government in Uttarakhand, and the Shiv Sena is only the latest to join the bandwagon. “Rawat had time to prove his majority till March 28. What was the hurry in imposing President’s Rule a day before this was to happen? After the sting operation, questions of propriety were raised and democracy was strangulated in the name of propriety.”
Alluding to the BJP’s often-stated political mission of a ‘Congress-mukt India’, the editorial said such moves were not the way to go about achieving that. “We are also opposed to the Congress’ ideology and corruption, but a democratically elected government must go out only in a democratic manner,” the editorial asserted, adding that the desire for single-party rule is “more dangerous than emergency and dictatorship”.
The Sena also echoed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s contention that the Centre was targeting states ruled by other parties. “Himachal Pradesh seems to be on the Centre’s radar. We won’t be surprised if Uttarakhand is repeated there too,” the editorial said.
The Sena picked the occasion to hit out at the BJP over its uneasy alliance in Maharashtra. “Had we not backed the BJP here, they would have indulged in horse trading — like they did in Uttarakhand — in the name of morality here too. We supported them so that Maharashtra doesn’t have such political instability. Tomorrow, if we take a separate stand on an issue concerning Maharashtra, the BJP won’t indulge in morally right politics.”
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray declared his support for jewellers who are striking to demand the withdrawal of 1% excise duty on gold and non-silver jewellery imposed on them in the Union budget.
“If the Centre is talking to foreign companies (for Make In India), then why not jewellers?” Thackeray asked, adding that Sena MPs will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley soon to seek its withdrawal. If the government still doesn’t reconsider its decision, the party will participate in the jewellers’ agitation, he warned.