BJP not very different from family-run parties, claims Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena on Monday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of dynasty politics by claiming that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not very different from family-run political outfits and described the Central government’s rule as “autocratic”.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana also defended the Congress party, saying it believed in democratic values.
In his speech on the Constitution Day on November 26, PM Modi had said political parties run by families for generation after generation was not good for a healthy democracy . “How can the parties which have lost their democratic character protect democracy?,” he asked and said that dynasty politics could be seen from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in the country. Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana launched a counter attack while defending the Congress, believed to be the chief target of Modi’s attack on political dynasties.
“The biggest threat to democracy is... to come to power democratically and rule in an autocratic manner. Congress party believes in democratic values. Yes, there can be political differences with the Congress, but it has not sold the pillars of democracy,” the editorial said.
The editorial added that the PM’s attack on the Congress party, which had weakened substantially in the past 10 years, suggested he feared the party could be an alternative to the BJP nationally.
“...Repeatedly attacking the party [the Congress] means that Prime Minister Modi still fears the Congress, and it can be an alternative to the BJP at the national level,” it said.
The editorial further remarked that the Bharatiya Janata Party was no different as it was “controlled” by people chosen by the PM.
“BJP is not a family party, but in the past few years, it has become a dictatorship of one particular group. After Mr Modi became the Prime Minister, a leader from Gujarat was made the party chief. This arrangement was made so that the reins of the party and power remain in his hand. Congress’ reins in the hands of Gandhi family is akin to BJP’s reins in the hands of people who are under the Prime Minister’s thumb,” the Saamana piece said.
As a policy, the Maharashtra unit of the BJP does not respond to criticism or remarks made in Saamana editorials.