After protesting against Ghulam Ali’s concert and Kasuri’s book launch event Sena now opposes resumption of Indo-Pak bilateral cricketing ties.
Shiv Sena has always opposed the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan. Forty to 50 members of Sena stormed the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai and shouted slogans prior to Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan’s scheduled meeting with BCCI president Shashank Manohar for discussing the revival of cricket ties between both the nations. Sena had earlier protested against Pakistani artist Ghulam Ali concert forcing the organisers to cancel the event. Party activists went a step ahead by throwing ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni the organiser of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai. Sena is a junior coalition partner of Maharashtra state government and opposes any Indian engagement with Pakistan due to its role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The party is flexing its political muscles as it doesn’t want to play second fiddle to BJP.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded that the Shiv Sena be derecognised in the backdrop of the latter’s recent activities, including protests at BCCI office saying in its nearly 50 years of existence the regional party has only contributed to “politics of hate and goondaism”.
“It’s been nearly 50 years of Shiv Sena’s existence and other than politics of hate and goondaism it has not made one credible contribution to the nation,” AAP spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon said.
Slamming the Sena, Menon said though the party has not ruled the state on its own even once, it claimed to be the voice of Maharashtra.
“So what exactly is the Shiv Sena? It is just a front for goondas who earn their living by threatening harmless people like singers, writers and holding the financial capital to ransom with its threats of bandhs and riots,” she said in a statement.
“This is completely unacceptable. Civil society must come together and demand a ban on Shiv Sena, as they neither understand, nor participate in upholding our Constitution or our democracy. Instead they are always ready to precipitate tensions with neighbouring countries,” she said.
“We are a democratic nation and every one has the right to protest on any issue in a democratic manner. But there is a difference between a democratic way and hoologanism. No one accepts such a kind of protest,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
NCP leader Rahul Narvekar said Sena has been involved in such activities since very long.
“This is not how you express your resentment to a particular thought. You adopt constitutional measures which are available with you,” he said.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut defended the protest organised by party workers and said, “We have not committed any crime by protesting. We are opposing Pakistan and our stand against them is nothing new. This is not a political protest. We are only doing what is the feeling of the people of this country, because feelings of people are important to us…..The people of the nation do not want any relations with Pakistan till they stop terrorist activities and hatching conspiracies against India. There will be no cricket, cultural and political relations with them until they stop doing it.”
“If anyone tries to build relations with Pakistan through the medium of cricket, we will not let that happen and will not compromise on our stand. The BJP now needs to come forward and support us on this issue,” Raut said.
Mumbai police have detained around 20 Shiv Sena activists. Police said they have brought the situation under control and beefed up security to ensure the protest does not recur.