Sena’s stand on notes ban firm despite Rajnath call
Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday after the latter’s party joined an opposition march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against the government’s demonetisation movemumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2016 00:56 IST
Despite the BJP’s attempt to iron out differences, the Shiv Sena continued firing salvos at the Narendra Modi-led government, saying former party chief Bal Thackeray should have been alive to chop the tongues of those likening people’s demonetisation despair to patriotism.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday after the latter’s party joined an opposition march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against the government’s demonetisation move. The march, led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, was also joined by parties such as the Aam Aadmi Party. However, while other parties are pushing for immediate withdrawal of demonetization — the sudden decommissioning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes — the Sena has been criticising the implementation method for inconveniencing people.
Uddhav said, “We are with the government in its war against black money. But the prohibitions on district cooperative banks on accepting the decommissioned currency notes, and other such impractical restrictions should be lifted. The common man is not a thief. If the intention is good, then make sure even the implementation process is good.”
On the fourth death anniversary of former Sena chief late Bal Thackeray, the party in an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana, said, “Nero was playing the fiddle when Rome was ablaze. The same way, people have been turned into beggars and made bankrupt, and some are wagging their tongues explaining this as patriotism.”
The entire country’s population is cherishing the memory of Bal Thackeray and the sentiment that he should have been alive to voice people’s anguish echoes the failure of every political leader in the fray, the editorial said.
The party also criticised the central government on the Pakistan issue, saying despite the surgical strike, the neighbouring country’s attacks have not stopped and India is losing a handful of soldiers every day.
“The Sena chief used to always say that the country will not improve unless there is an iron man sitting in Delhi. He himself had the strength of a thousand such iron men, but didn’t have any greed for power,” the party said.
Hundreds of Sena volunteers across the city made their way to Dadar’s Shivaji Park, an annual ritual since 2012, to pay tribute to Bal Thackeray, at the ‘smruti chauthara,’ a small memorial that the ground hosts. The former Sena chief was cremated with state honours at Shivaji Park, where he delivered his first rabble-rousing speech in 1966. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also paid a tribute to Thackeray at the Shivaji Park memorial, after which he had a meeting with Uddhav at the Mayor’s Bungalow discussing the proposed permanent memorial at the sea-front heritage site.
On the late Sena chief’s third death anniversary, Fadnavis had announced the state’s intention of having a permanent memorial at the mayor’s bungalow, adjacent to Shivaji Park. However, besides announcing a ‘Thackeray Memorial National Public Trust’ with Uddhav, Aaditya Thackeray, Subhash Desai, BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya and architect Shashi Prabhu, among others, the project has not moved forward.
Uddhav said, “The mayor’s bungalow will soon be transferred to the trust. We will have a website where all of the former Sena chief’s well-wishers can give their suggestions for the plan. I don’t want to make any major announcement on the memorial in haste. We will conduct a bhoomipujan only after all procedures are completed rather than doing it in a hurry.”