Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday backed NCP MP Udayan Raje Bhosale's remarks that if the post-demonetisation situation fails to improve soon, "people will loot banks", saying he has voiced the concerns of people on the cash chaos.
"Demonetisation has angered the people of the country. The condition of the poor and working classes everywhere is pitiable," the Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana.
Referring to statements by Bhosale - the 13th descendent of the Chhatrapati Shivaji - that people would start looting banks, it said he had "expressed the anger of the public" and thrown a challenge to the Modi government.
It pointed out how during the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that Narendra Modi enjoyed the blessings of Shivaji.
The present condition of the people in rural areas was alarming, what with restrictions on cooperative and rural banks and shortages of currency notes that was sounding the death knell for the rural economy.
"Farmers are being driven to untimely death. Even if they loot banks, they won't get anything in hand due to curbs on cooperative banks. On the contrary, the government would hang them and be rid of them," the Sena said.
"Bhosale has expressed the masses' anger in his own style. He questioned why the people continue to suffer while no action is taken against the real black money hoarders. If the government has courage, they should pick up his gauntlet," the Sena said.
A constituent of the ruling NDA at the centre and in Maharashtra, the Sena commended Bhosale for speaking out against demonetization and said it displayed his independence though he was a NCP MP.
The editorial lamented what it termed "the terrible situation that has engulfed rural India" after Modi's currency spike of November 8 when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were declared illegal.
"The farmers, labourers, wage-earners and rural service classes have been hit brutally by demonetization. How can we expected them to raise the flag of patrioritism?
"They are forced to dump their vegetables, fruits and milk on the roads as there are no takers. For just Rs 100-500, they move around like beggars," the editorial noted.
Sadly, those who invoked the farmers to collect votes have now become ministers and were busy enjoying the trappings of power.
"Bhosale is well aware of the resentment among the people. During the British rule, banks and treasuries were looted by the freedom fighters. He has issued a similar warning to the government now," the Sena said.
"People may loot banks for survival. Will their own government spray bullets on them?" the edit asked.
(With IANS inputs)