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Shiv Sena slams CM Fadnavis for poor handling of Dalit protests and violence in Maharashtra

Editorial in Saamana claims state is descending into chaos; second criticism by BJP’s ally in two days

mumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2018 08:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena,BJP,CM Devendra Fadnavis
So far, the Sena had refrained from taking on Fadnavis personally as he and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray share a good rapport.(HT File Photo)

For the second time in two days, the Shiv Sena attacked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government over the handling of Dalit protests and violence that have rocked Maharashtra since January 1.

On Saturday, in an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Sena claimed that the state was descending into “chaos” and “destruction” because of caste conflicts.

Taking a dig at Fadnavis’ pet project — the Maharashtra Prosperity Corridor — the editorial said: “Under the leadership of Fadnavis, Maharashtra is not on the corridor of prosperity, it seems to be falling into a pit of chaos and destruction.”

The Sena is showing solidarity with the CM in times of such conflict as it is a matter of Maharashtra’s pride and the maintenance of law and order, the Marathi daily added.

Over the past couple of years, relations between the Sena and the BJP have become increasingly strained, though so far, the party had refrained from taking on Fadnavis personally. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Fadnavis are said to share a good rapport.

“The chief minister is being praised for the patience he showed during the protests, but he does not show similar patience elsewhere. The patience he showed to tackle rioters has resulted in losses worth crores for the state,” the editorial said, criticising the government for the way violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1 and protests by Dalit groups on January 3 were handled.

The home department, headed by Fadnavis, has become weak, the Sena said. “The home department is the backbone of the state, and if that breaks, the state will collapse,” it warned.

The editorial also attacked Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar, and said if the bandh he had called had been peaceful, his stature as a leader would have risen. “But now, his followers have become directionless,” the newspaper said, adding that none of Maharashtra’s Dalit leaders have the ability to calm people in the community when tensions run high.

First Published: Jan 06, 2018 14:53 IST