The cross-fire between ruling partners Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena continues even days before the civic polls are announced. On Friday, Tarun Bharat a newspaper which is run on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology slammed Sena for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation. At the same time, Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana hit out at chief minister Fadnavis for criticising Uddhav Thackeray’s stand on demonetisation.
On Friday, Tarun Bharat, which is published from Nagpur, lashed out at Thackeray, for his incessant criticism of the BJP on several issues. In its editorial, the Maratha daily accused the Sena of adopting double standards and challenged it to exit the Devendra Fadnavis and Narendra Modi government if it disagreed with their decisions.
The editorial said that there was a strong resentment among the common man over Sena’s double standards and demonstrated their angst in the recent municipal elections where the BJP bagged a lion’s share and relegated Sena to the fourth place in the state after BJP, Congress and NCP. It claimed that the Sena has failed to realise that that the reason for its recent poor performance was the ‘uncalled for’ criticism of its principal ally on flimsy reasons despite a strong organisation base from ward committee. It also dared Thackeray to quit the Maharashtra government if his party did not endorse the policies of the Fadnavis government.
On the other hand, Sena, in its editorial Saamana asked Fadnavis to decide whether he is on the side of demonetisation or the common people who are suffering because of it every day. It described how a woman who had gone to exchange old notes broke down at the doors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on being denied service after January 1, despite the Prime Minister’s promise that the RBI would accept old notes till March 31, 2017.
The Sena mouthpiece said, “The chief minister is an extremely innocent personality in politics. But once in a while, he throws puzzles at people. Today, we want to put a puzzle in front of him. You tell us exactly whose side you are on. Are you on the side of demonetisation or on the side of the helpless woman who had to cry to get justice?”
It added, “If that woman’s state has not affected the chief minister at all, it must be due to his helplessness.”
The BJP-led government should not pay lip service by just talking about patriotism but being completely unaffected by the unemployment, cash-crunch, wiping out of savings and distress faced by common people, the Sena editorial further said.