In an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that the BJP-led central government should focus on work rather than seeking political mileage out of decisions to revoke Article 370 and introducing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In an editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, the BJP’s former ally also raised questions on Modi’s speech in Varanasi on Sunday that the government won’t go back on the citizenship law and Article 370 despite pressure, and asked who was putting pressure on him to go back on the decisions.
It said that the BJP’s defeat in Delhi Assembly polls has shown that PM Modi needs to “change his direction”. It said that repeating the same speech may get “applause” but the “votes get diverted elsewhere” that was seen in Delhi Assembly elections. “What will you do if such a thing (defeat) happens in Varanasi (Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency)?” it asked.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party said, “Prime Minister Modi [in his speech] in Varanasi declared that ‘the government will not go back in CAA and Kashmir’s Article 370. No matter how much pressure, our government is firm on the decision’… PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah said this in all their speeches [in Delhi polls]. This was the campaign of BJP but it didn’t work and the people rejected it… Now prime minister has made the same speech in Varanasi… The only question is that who is putting pressure on Modi to go back on CAA and Article 370? He (Modi) should clarify this.”
While it supported the decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Sena slammed the Modi government and asked what had changed after the decision. It said that that when questions are raised on whether Kashmiri Pandits have returned to the Valley, Modi says that the government will not revoke the decision.
“We are not saying go back on the decision, but don’t go back on your word either. You have given the word on the ‘ghar wapsi’ of the Kashmiri Pandits. And who had given the promise to take back the Pakistan-occupies Kashmir to fulfill the dream of an undivided India”? It added that the government has not fulfilled the promise to bring in industries and business to Kashmir.
On the issue of CAA, the Sena said that the government should clear the doubts of the people and resolve the issue.