Praising Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah for speaking up against a separate Vidarbha, the Shiv Sena -- through an editorial published in party mouthpiece Saamana on Thursday -- urged Shah to take a similar “practical stand” on Jaitapur.
During a recent press conference in Delhi, Shah said the BJP had never made any promise of a separate statehood for Vidarbha.
While the news came as rude shock to groups supporting distressed farmers, Sena has openly shown its support.
However, in the same editorial, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not shy away from taking pot-shots at other leaders, including chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar for their pro-Vidarbha stand.
The editorial ridiculed the leaders, saying they have no other work left. The views appearing in the Sena editorial are seen as those of Thackeray.
“The BJP president has taken a strong stand that the party had never promised a separate Vidarbha. So a few leaders who were vociferously demanding for a separate statehoood have been left embarrassed before people. Now with this clarification they don’t seem to have any task left in their hands…the Sena’s stand has won. The 105 martyrs who gave their lives for a separate Maharashtra must be blessing us,” the editorial said.
It said Shah should be thanked for clarifying the BJP’s stand on the issue of separate Vidarbha and those asking for a separate state have learnt a lesson.
Comparing the issue of Vidarbha to Kashmir, it added that like Kashmir, just because there are separatists asking for a separate Kashmir because of Pakistani influence, it doesn’t mean that Kashmir will be given away. “Vidarbha’s case is similar to Kashmir. Nitin Gadkari, Fadnavis, Mungantiwar, all make announcements during elections promising people in Vidarbha for a separate state. But now the clarification that came following larger public opinion is important,” said the editorial.
The editorial further said that just like the “practical side” of the situation was taken into consideration along with public opinion in case of Vidarbha issue, it is necessary for the BJP to take a similar approach in case of Jaitapur.