Shiv Sena reminds Modi of post-Godhra, Ahmedabad riots
Mumbai: Amid the
widening chasm with BJP, Shiv Sena on Wednesday termed as 'unfortunate' Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam
Ali's concert in Mumbai, reminding him of post-Godhra Gujarat riots when he was
chief minister for which ‘he is known’.
Meanwhile, BJP has
called a meeting of its ministers and functionaries in Mumbai on Thursday where
the worsening ties between the two parties are likely to come up for
In wry comments that
may not go down well with BJP at a time when the estrangement between the two
parties which share power in Maharashtra and Centre is growing, Sena MP Sanjay
Raut said Modi “is known and respected due to Godhra and Ahmedabad.”
The 2002 Gujarat riots
have been a sore point in Modi’s otherwise remarkable political career.
“The world knows
Narendra Modi due to Godhra and Ahmedabad and we respect him for the same
reason. If the same Narendra Modi has called the controversy surrounding Ghulam
Ali and Khurshid Kasuri unfortunate, then it is indeed unfortunate for all of
us,” Raut said.
Raut was responding to
Modi’s comments in an interview to Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika in which
he had termed the Dadri lynching over suspected beef-eating and cancellation of
Ghulam Ali’s concert under threat from Sena as ‘unfortunate’ but with which his
government had nothing to do.
“The Dadri incident or
opposition to Pakistani singer is undesirable and unfortunate. But what is the
central government’s relation with these incidents,” Modi said.
Though the official
agenda for Thursday’s BJP meeting is to discuss the achievements of Devendra
Fadnavis government's one year in office and ways of celebrating it, the issue
of worsening ties between the ruling coalition partners would also be
deliberated upon, a party functionary said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another went a step
further and said the meeting will discuss the probability of snapping ties with
the Sena, which had on Tuesday said BJP was free to opt out of the coalition government
in Maharashtra if it was bored of its brand of 'nationalism' and 'patriotism',
raising questions about the continuance of the party in the state government.
BJP leaders, including
Modi, party president Amit Shah and Fadnavis have come under Sena's attack in
recent times. “Though Sena is a part of the BJP government, both at Centre and
in the state, it has not wasted even a single opportunity to criticise Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and the BJP,” another leader said, requesting
He said BJP ministers
and leaders held a closed-door meeting recently where parting ways with Sena
was discussed. “We have 123 MLAs, 7 independents are with BJP, we will need 15
more legislators to prove our majority if Sena quits from the government,” he
said, claiming, “once the Sena quits, at least 17 to 18 of its legislators will
join BJP.” (With inputs from agencies)