Ally Shiv Sena launched a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his performance and asked him if the police lathicharge on BHU students is the saubhagya (privilege) of women who elected him with a lot of aspirations.
Sena, which has frequently criticised the Maharashtra government and the Centre though it is a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), took the jibe at the PM, who had on Monday launched Saubhagya — a Rs 16,000 -crore scheme to provide electricity to over four crore households that are without power connection by December 2018.
“Inflation has become a monster and you are quiet. Petrol and diesel are on fire and you are quiet. People are helpless in the name of system improvement and you are quiet,” the Sena alleged in an editorial in party mouthpiece Dopahar ka Saamana.
“Daughters of the country are being lathicharged and you are quiet. Your party workers are creating havoc. Until when will you be quiet?”
A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathicharge by police in the Banaras Hindu University where a protest earlier this week against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent.
The editorial, which referred to the PM in second person, wondered if anyone tried to find out why did the university administration received a “jolt” after the students placed their demands.
“They had only demanded that the Banaras Hindu University get CCTV cameras on its campus and the accused be arrested. Was it right to file an FIR against them?” it questioned.
“You (Modi), without thinking twice, took steps that brought a storm in the nation, but, as far as peoples questions were concerned, you only whip up jumlas (catch phrases).
“You have told your workers, power is not for happiness but to do seva (service) of the people. But, what will you answer, if they ask you what seva have you performed in the last three years,” the Sena said.
The Sena alleged that the daughters of Uttar Pradesh and Varanasi who elected Modi are being troubled and are facing the trauma of eve-teasing.
“When they raise their voice against it and demand justice, they are beaten up with lathis. Forget the jumla of beti bachao, beti padhao (save and educate girl child), at least do not let them get beaten up,” it said.
“Agreed this is a matter of the state government, but, being a local MP, you could have spoken two words to console the bereaved.
“The local government also belongs to your party. If you can keep a hawk’s eye on small issues, you can at least ask about the well-being of the country’s daughters? If not physically, atleast on twitter, as you are known to be twitter-friendly?” it said.
Continuing the diatribe, it said, “As far as Uttar Pradesh government is concerned, even people living there do not know who is ruling.”
“People are wondering if there is a government there at all. They are confused if law and order is prevalent or hooliganism. May be international help should be sought to solve this mystery.”
“The present government there is busy doing yog sadhna and has no control over its party workers who have got the chance to put the administration in its pockets,” it alleged.
The Sena alleged that hooliganism is prevalent not only in UP but also in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and all other states governed by the BJP.
“BJP workers in MP are going from house to house and writing My home, BJPs home on the walls. If the house owner raises his voice against this, they are threatened with dire consequences,” it alleged.
“When the party is questioned, it says its workers do all of this in enthusiasm and is thus giving its workers the right to spread anarchy,” the Sena alleged.
The frayed relationship between the saffron allies has come under fresh strain with Sena recently saying it will soon decide on whether to continue in the coalition government in Maharashtra.
The two had parted ways, ending their 25-year-old alliance, just before the 2014 assembly polls following differences over seat sharing.
They came together again after the elections which threw up a hung Assembly, but the Sena has been uneasy with the emergence of the BJP as the major partner for the first time.
The two saffron parties have separately contested local body’s elections in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, the Sena’s stronghold.