In yet another attack on the BJP, ally Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “yank off the undergarments (chaddi-banian) of the public” in the name of exposing “benami” properties in the country.
“After demonetisation, now the Prime Minister has targeted ‘benami’ properties and this is an extremely laudable move… But like demonetisation, it should not crush the poor and the middle class under the guise of weaning out ‘benami’ properties,” Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said in a sharp edit in the party mouthpieces, Saamana and Dopaharka Saamana.
He pointed out that many political leaders, businessmen, NRIs and the mafia have already invested their black monies hugely in properties, but ironically, the common public were labelled “dishonest” after demonetisation.
“Modi had promised to bring back ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign banks, but the fact is not a dime was recovered, nor did the hoarders suffer a paisa’s loss. The common masses bore the brunt of demonetisation and still continue to suffer,” rued Thackeray.
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He added that post-demonetisation, the peoples’ woes have increased, but not a single hoarder of black money or industrialist has been thrown behind the bars.
Drawing comparisons with the “surgical strike” on Pakistan in September, Thackeray said the neighbour (Pakistan) continues to play truant with terror and that has resulted in the deaths of over 50 Indian soldiers so far.
“That ‘surgical strike’ was trumpeted as a major victory for the government, but they have failed to protect our soldiers… Now, the question is: Who is really dishonest?” demanded Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra and the Centre.
Referring to the plight of displaced Kashmiri Pandits, he said that before thinking of striking “benami” properties, the government should take steps to help the displaced Kashmiris get back their legally-owned estates.
“Will the government carry out a surgical strike for these displaced Kashmiris? We only hope that there is no manipulation in the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits to recover their legally-owned properties,” Thackeray said.
He called upon the government to ensure a repeat of inconveniences is prevented in the proposed action against “benami” properties, and the public is not denuded and thrown out on the roads.
“However, we unequivocally appreciate Modi’s fight against the dishonest crooks in the country,” concluded Thackeray in the edit.