Shiv Sena, the alliance partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra, today invoked its founder Bal Thackeray to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'demonetisation' move.
An editorial in the party-mouthpiece “Saamana” pointed out that party founder Bal Thackeray, if alive, would have silenced those terming hardships suffered by the people as a mark of patriotism.
The editorial likened the existing situation in the country to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning.
"People are in despair and have been made beggars and forced onto the streets. Nero (Roman Emperor) played the fiddle when Rome was burning," the editorial said.
"Similarly, there are some who have made people bankrupt and are linking it to patriotism. The public sentiment is that Balasaheb should have been alive to silence such wagging tongues and give voice to the hardships of common man," it said.
"If this disappointment is considered patriotism, then it is an insult to the patriots and to chop off the tongues of such people (those insulting the common man), Balasaheb should have been present," it lashed out.
Hitting out at the government's move to mark the account holders with indelible ink to monitor suspicious depositors, the Sena said, "In the absence of elections, putting ink on the hands of people and making them stand in queues is a national crime. People are hiding their marked fingers in their pockets and living with upset hearts."
The NDA constituent said that demonetising 500 and 1,000-rupee currency notes and leaving the people hungry and helpless is worse than the Jalianwala Bagh massacre.
Bal Thackeray always used to say that the country will not improve unless there is an iron man sitting in Delhi.
"He himself had the strength of a thousand such iron men, but didn't have any greed for power," the Sena said.
It further said that while the Army conducted a surgical strike on Pakistani soil after the Uri terror attack, the question remains if the neighbouring country has learnt its lessons.
"Firing at the border continues unabated and everyday 2-4 soldiers get martyred," it said.
(With PTI inputs)