Taking an indirect dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on his birthday, the Shiv Sena today said that Chhatrapati Shivaji never extended such greetings to "the enemies of the nation".
“What is outstanding about Shivaji Maharaj’s thoughts is that he considered enemies of Swarajya as enemies of the nation. Shivaji Maharaj never extended birthday greetings to Aurangzeb, Afzal Khan and Shaista Khan,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
The editorial also voiced displeasure over the BJP workers chanting “Modi, Modi” during a public meeting addressed by the Prime Minister, which was also attended by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
During the build-up to ‘jal pujan’ for the memorial, Sena did not hide its feelings that BJP has sought to “hijack” the event for claiming the legacy of the Maratha icon to secure political mileage.
“We only ask politicians not to use Chhatrapati to play low-grade politics. Those who claim rights on Chhatrapati will bite the dust in the end. They would do well remember the history,” the editorial said.
“Ensure that the memorial does not get trapped in selfish politics, thereby forcing Shivaji Maharaj to use his sword against these self-centred politicians,” it said.
The ruling alliance partner, however, said it understood the importance of Modi in the BJP, and that his party is what it is today only due to the “Modi tonic”.
“While the Sainiks and Shivaji fans were chanting slogans hailing the Chhatrapati, BJP workers were shouting slogans in the name of Modi. Can anyone compare himself to Shivaji? Modi himself will not approve of this,” Sena said.
Notably, during the public meeting addressed by Modi on Sunday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while, apparently by BJP supporters present among the audience by chanting “Modi, Modi”.
(With PTI inputs)