As if sky has fallen: Sena’s dig at BJP after row over its leader meeting Naidu

Mumbai, Feb 13 The Shiv Sena on Wednesday said its leader Sanjay Raut’s visit to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu during his fast in Delhi was merely a courtesy call, and criticised the BJP over handling of its allies.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also said what was the guarantee that the BJP will not reach out to its former ally, the Naidu-led TDP, in case it falls short of numbers to form government after the Lok Sabha elections.

Senior Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut had on Monday made a surprise appearance at Naidu’s day-long protest over demand for special status for his state, saying he came to attend the event as a representative of his party, which shares strained relations with senior ally BJP.

Justifying Raut’s meeting with Naidu, the Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said the leader visited Andhra Pradesh chief minister as a “courtesy” because his state has been split into two.

“We are also against splitting of states. But our visit has been seen as if sky has fallen upon the government,” it said.

“What is the guarantee that if required, senior BJP leaders will not knock at the doors of Naidu for his support to form government after the Lok Sabha polls?” it asked.

Naidu was a “great leader” till the time he was with the NDA and now he is suddenly “untouchable”, it quipped.

Recalling BJP’s alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, it said the Mehbooba Mufti-led party’s Rajya Sabha member Fayaz Ahmad Mir has demanded return of mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, founder of the separatist J&K Liberation Front (JKLF).

Both were buried at the Tihar jail in Delhi. Bhat was hanged in Tihar on February 11, 1984 following his conviction in the killing of an intelligence official while Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013.

“This demand is preposterous. But it is the same PDP with which the BJP had shared power in Jammu and Kashmir. During that time, the state saw maximum bloodshed, several attacks took place and some were even rewarded despite having terror links,” the Sena claimed.

Nobody had any issue then, but the Sena paying a courtesy visit to the TDP is severely criticised, the Marathi daily said without naming anyone.

“We understand the difference between the PDP and the TDP better,” it said.

The Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra, claimed the activities of Mehbooba Mufti’s party are “pro-Pakistan” and demanded that it be considered as “anti-national”.

“Though the Sena has taken a radical stance on Hindutva, we do not consider those as enemies who have a different view than ours. But, AIMIM spewing out venom is an anti-national activity,” it opined.

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