After Shiv Sena sparked a firestorm of protest by demanding the disenfranchisement of Muslim community, a party leader on Monday sought to make light of the statement, saying the saffron outfit has never misused power while in Government.
“Have we ever abused our power while in Government? Will you file case against somebody’s ideology or thought process?”, the functionary said when pointed out that several parties have demanded that a criminal case be filed against the Sena for its call to scrap voting rights of Muslims.
The party, which is part of the BJP-led Governments at the Centre and Maharashtra, made the demand yesterday in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“When the Shiv Sena was a part of the Government (at the Centre) during Balasaheb and Atalji’s time (1998-2004), did it bring any such law? In 1995-1999, too, we were in power (in Maharashtra). Did we stop Muslims from voting then?”
“People should understand the difference between thought process and action. Instead, we increased the FSI (additional construction rights) for masjids and dargahs (tombs) during our tenure,” the Sena leader said on condition of anonymity.
Such statements are made to grab public attention and force people to think about our party, the leader said.
A top Sena leader had made a similar demand in 1990s, but those times were different. Today there can be a different context to this statement. It might be the Bandra Assembly polls (held on April 11) or the upcoming municipal polls in Aurangabad, the leader added.