The war of words between Shiv Sena and BJP today intensified with the latter questioning the ally’s support to actor Sanjay Dutt in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and late Bal Thackeray hosting former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad at his residence.
“What sort of nationalism was displayed while backing 1993 blasts accused actor Sanjay Dutt,” BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar said, alluding to late Bal Thackeray’s support to the actor.
“Those casting aspersions on our patriotism should do well to remember who hosted Javed Miandad at Matoshree (the Thackeray family residence in suburban Bandra),” Shelar said.
“The public understands this politics of opportunism, of convenient nationalism,” he said.
“Those who want to teach nationalism and patriotism to our Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should remember that the national tricolour was not unfurled atop their party office (Sena Bhavan).
“When he was young, Fadnavis dared to unfurl the tricolour in Srinagar. Those sitting and writing in AC cabins should not indulge in teaching Fadnavis,” Shelar said, in a veiled attack on Sena MP and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut, who has been most vocal in attacking BJP over the visit of former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri here.
“Shiv Sena should not teach patriotism to BJP. Our leaders have struggled for Kashmir,” he said.
Shelar said Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray had attended Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s musical concert.
Relations between the two oldest saffron allies came under renewed strain when Shiv Sainiks blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former BJP strategist and organiser of Kasuri’s book launch event on Monday.
Fadnavis had voiced serious displeasure over the incident and said the state would not be allowed to be reduced to a “banana republic”.
Fadvanis’s condemnation of the incident and heightened security at the function where Kasuri’s book was launched on Monday evening had drawn strong reactions from Raut who said the Chief Minister “doesn’t understand Maharashtra and is insulting the martyrs”.
The Sena had also threatened to disrupt the event.