Sena, BJP workers clash near Sena Bhavan
High-voltage drama was witnessed near Shiv Sena’s headquarters, Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar, on Wednesday afternoon, as workers of the Shiv Sena and the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed over the Sena’s criticism of the alleged scam in the land deal for Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Tuesday published an editorial saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must intervene to ensure there is no “blot of scam” on the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Consequently, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists held a protest near Sena Bhavan. The activists alleged Sena workers attacked them after the protest ended. Sena MP and its chief spokesperson Arvind Sawant called the protest a “stunt” and said the clash was a reaction to the attack by BJP workers. BJP leader Ashish Shelar asked the Sena not to attack from behind and challenged the Sena to come “in the battlefield”.
Sada Sarvankar, Sena MLA from Mahim and area’s vibhag pramukh, said, “When we got to know that they were planning to come and attack Shiv Sena Bhavan, the Shiv Sainiks (Sena workers) who were in Sena Bhavan came on the streets. They (BJP workers) had picked up stones, bricks and lathis at Raja Bhadhe Chowk [near Sena Bhavan]. We also got to know that some women workers were also coming in the protest, so Sena’s Mahila Aghadi (women’s wing) also came here. They hurled abuses at our workers. It was not correct to hold a protest at Shiv Sena Bhavan. They want to show that Shiv Sena has abandoned Hindutva.”
Former city mayor and Sena leader Shraddha Jadhav dismissed the allegation that Sena workers attacked the protesters. “We are cultured and we have morals taught by Balasaheb Thackeray. We did not initiate the clash; they attacked us first,” she said.
BJYM activist Akshada Tendulkar said that she was allegedly attacked by Sena workers. Speaking to reporters, she said, “We finished our protest and were heading to our cars parked on the opposite side of the road. They attacked us from behind. I was pushed and my dupatta (scarf) was pulled. They kept attacking us in front of the police.”
Shelar slammed the Sena saying that since Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has become God, the Sena thinks that people like Tendulkar are their enemies. He said that BJYM carried out the protest with permissions. “After the protest was over, they sneaked and attacked a woman. Shiv Sena has shown that their culture is of Aurangzeb. When Sonia and Vadra became their god, Tendulkar, Sathe and Amberkar (names of those who were allegedly attacked) became their enemies. Tendulkar, a woman party worker, was beaten up by everybody. Don’t hide behind the police and attack us. Come in the battle field, the BJP will defeat you. We condemn this attack on our workers,” he said, outside Mahim police station.
“For every action there is a reaction,” said Sawant, adding if the BJP cared for law and order, they should not have taken to the streets in times of Covid.