A day after sealing a seat-sharing pact with the BJP, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday asked the NDA government not to behave in a way that would fuel allegations that it was trying to wage a war to influence poll results. Riots and terror attacks should not be used for "political gains", the Sena said in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Targeting students from Kashmir over such incidents could spell more trouble for the government, it warned. The remarks came a day after the BJP and the Shiv Sena announced a seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections, overcoming their strained ties and earlier declarations of going solo.
Without taking names, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said, "Sometime back there were political allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could wage a small-scale war to win elections... The rulers should not behave in a way that these allegations gather strength." Referring to the February 14 Pulwama bombing in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, the Marathi daily said, "The country is still boiling over the terror attack, hence some may face criticism. (But) riots and terror attacks should not be used for political gains."
Cautioning the government that the recent attacks on students from Kashmir in other parts of the country could spell more trouble, it recalled the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi and said the Congress was still "paying a heavy price" for it. It also took a dig at certain lawmakers for their controversial comments made on India-Pakistan relations and in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror strike.
Noting that Punjab Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was ousted from a television show after he called for dialogue with Pakistan even after the Pulwama attack, the Sena said pressure was mounted on him and a campaign launched against him over the remarks. On the other hand, the comments of BJP legislator Nepal Singh, who recently stirred a controversy with his statement that Army jawans "ought to die", were selectively ignored and he did not face any action, it pointed out.
Further targeting the government over the Pulwama incident, it said, "Our intelligence officials can trace an e-mail purportedly referring to a threat to the prime minister's life but they fail to stop terror attack on a convoy." Before 2014, Modi and RSS held the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government responsible for every terror attack in the country. "Then it should be understood if someone expects the current prime minister to uproot terrorism from the country," it said.
(With inputs from agencies.)