Babri demolition verdict: Shiv Sena happy, but cautiousUpdated: Oct 01, 2020, 00:35 IST
While the Shiv Sena, one of the three parties in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, welcomed the verdict on the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, the reaction of the party, which came to power in Maharashtra in 1995 riding on the Hindutva wave, was subdued.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said both the party as well as chief minister Uddhav Thackeray were happy with the verdict.
“We should now forget the incident as a grand Ram Mandir is now being built [because of it],” said Raut. “If the Babri structure had not come down, we would not have seen the construction of the Ram temple,” he said.
Political analysts termed it the Sena’s “balancing act”. “Ideally, the Sena would have celebrated this event, but it is being cautious in its reaction as it is running a coalition government with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP),” said political analyst Hemant Desai.
In 1992, the late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sunder Singh Bhandari had blamed the Sena for the demolition of the mosque. Sena founder Bal Thackeray had then declared: “I can only be proud of my Shiv Sainiks if they have brought down the mosque.”
Desai said, “After the demolition, Bal Thackeray fashioned himself as a staunch Hindutva leader, which helped in the 1995 polls.”
“The Sena has a baggage of its past and can’t disown the demolition. However, being in power, it needs to act as a responsible party, and so it is advocating this stance,” said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.
The Sena, under its present chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya, has been softening the Hindutva agenda adopted by Bal Thackeray. After the 2019 Assembly polls, Uddhav Thackeray broke the alliance with the BJP and joined hands with the Congress-NCP to form government in the state.