Kolhapur violence sparks political blame game
Political parties, including the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP blamed the BJP and the Shiv Sena (Shinde) for escalating the situation, with the latter claiming deliberate attempts being made by the opposition parties to vitiate the atmosphere in Maharashtra
As tension prevailed in Kolhapur on Wednesday after police used force to disperse a crowd that objected to the alleged use of Tipu Sultan’s image along with an objectionable audio message as social media “status” by some locals, political blame-game erupted over it.
Political parties, including the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena (Shinde) for escalating the situation, with the latter claiming deliberate attempts being made by the opposition parties to vitiate the atmosphere in Maharashtra.
“In some districts of Maharashtra, some followers of Aurangzeb have suddenly appeared. They are posting pictures and status on social media of Aurangzeb, which is causing ill-will in society at a time when leaders of the Opposition make remarks that there will be riots in Maharashtra. We have certain information about who is behind this, and we will act against them,” said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio.
“There is no forgiveness in Maharashtra for those who praise Aurangzeb. Police are also taking action. At the same time, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that peace is maintained,” he said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar confronted the BJP-Shiv Sena government saying that the ruling party “encourages” instances of communal violence
“There have been instances of communal clashes in Ahmednagar and Kolhapur over some messages. What is the meaning of hitting the streets over such messages? Today’s ruling party encourages such things. Rulers should ensure peace and law and order. But if rulers start hitting the street and create enmity among two communities, that is not a good thing for the state,” Pawar said during a press conference in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar on Wednesday morning.
Sanjay Raut, Rajya Sabha member from Shiv Sena (UBT), said that those in government think such violence will benefit them. “This is Maharashtra and we will not let this happen,” he said.
Pawar stressed that the role of ruling party should be to maintain law and order in the state. “But the existing ruling party’s mindset is to promote tensions within communities. There is need to verify that these things are happening intentionally in the state? Messages on social media might be wrong, but converting it as a religion and creating communal tensions is not good. The state government should not become part of it.”
Nana Patole, Congress state unit president, said, “Why the religious powers are getting promotion after Fadnavis becoming the home minister? Attempts are made to stir violence in the state. Last month, a similar attempt was carried out and violence took place in Kolhapur.”
Opposition leader Ajit Pawar said, “Chief minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy promised to create 75,000 jobs and many other facilities. As they failed to execute it, someone is promoting such things in the state. Police should identify the mastermind of these incidents. Maharashtra police are capable of handling such situations if they had given a free hand, but the existing government should have that mindset to allow the police to do transparent inquiry.”
Fadnavis said, “How all of a sudden a lot of Aurangzeb supporters emerged in the state? Police will take strict action against them. Maharashtra is of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and such things should not get entertained. The police will take strict action against those. Maharashtra is progressing as an industrial state. Such things tarnish the image of state.”