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RSS mouthpiece hits back at Shiv Sena for attacking Modi

Many within the party feel Thackeray’s attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal was an overreach and a point of no return, especially as the BJP has been going out of its way to woo the former for an alliance.

mumbai Updated: Dec 29, 2018 00:43 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
Uddhav Thackeray,Shiv Sena,BJP
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a programme at Laxman Ghat, in Ayodhya.(HT File)

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s latest salvo against ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in his rally at Pandharpur has led to an unease and irritation in the camp of the ruling party.

Many within the party feel Thackeray’s attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal was an overreach and a point of no return, especially as the BJP has been going out of its way to woo the former for an alliance.

Thackeray had used Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s oft-repeated jibe ‘chowkidar chor hai’ in a veiled fashion and different context to attack the PM. He also slammed the BJP over the Rafale deal.

While BJP leaders have maintained a silence over the slight, RSS mouthpiece Tarun Bharat, a Marathi daily from Nagpur, on Wednesday launched a scathing attack against Thackeray for his vitriolic attack on Modi and the BJP-led Devendra Fadnavis government in the state. The editorial of Tarun Bharat said people of the state would teach a lesson to the Sena in the ensuing elections for using such foul language against the prime minister of the country.

Describing Shiv Sena chief Thackeray as “rank hypocrite, power lusty and opportunist”, the editorial dared him to withdraw his ministers from the Fadnavis cabinet as well as from the Centre, if he is uncomfortable with them. “If Thackeray describes Modi as chor, by the same logic, his ministers are also chors. This is nothing but an attempt to mislead the people of the state and his desperate attempt to keep his flock together to remain relevant in the 2019 general and the state elections,” it said.

A senior BJP functionary said that while no one from the party would comment or lash back at the Sena as the party was hoping for an alliance, there was no doubt that everyone was angry.

“We are wondering how he (Thackeray) will make a U-turn after this kind of an attack because political compulsions are such that the Sena needs an alliance even more than us. We are also preparing for an eventuality where we may have to go solo, but our top brass has asked us to keep mum for now,” he said.

A BJP minister also said there would be no official reaction on Thackeray’s criticism as the alliance talks were being held behind the doors between the party’s top brass. “This is posturing and a pressuring tactic for alliance talks,” he added.

The editorial also puts a question mark on Thackeray’s sudden liking for Ram and his visit to Ayodhya. “It seems the Sena is scared about his defeat in the ensuing elections as its younger brother (BJP) becomes the elder brother in the state and hence raising the Ram temple issue at the fag-end of the tenure,” it added.

Criticising Sena for using uncivilised language and hurling abuses against the Prime Minister and the BJP, the editorial said the mighty elephant keeps walking as the dogs keep barking. It also wondered about the ignorance of Thackeray on good works carried out by the state as well as the Modi government for the past four years. “Prime Minister Modi virtually works for 18 hours a day without any leave. And if such labourous works of the Prime Minister doesn’t appeal and reach to the Sena leadership, then they must be blind of reality,” the editorial further said. Tarun Bharat is a multi-editions Marathi newspaper. The third RSS Sarsanghachalak, Balasaheb Deoras, was the chairman of Narkesari Prakashan, the publisher of Tarun Bharat, while former RSS spokesman, MG Vaidya was once its chief editor.

First Published: Dec 27, 2018 01:14 IST