Shiv Sena says Narendra Modi’s new sops are UPA schemes repackaged
Editorial in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna sais Prime Minister Modi had “thanked those who died in ATM queues and who are still reeling under currency ban
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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 31 December speech as thanking the dead and repackaging old schemes as new.
Shiv Sena, a junior partner in the Maharashtra government, said in a 2 January editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna that the prime minister had “thanked those who died in ATM queues and who are still reeling under currency ban”. The editorial also describes the schemes declared by Modi as “repackaging of old schemes launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2013”.
All along, Shiv Sena has been sharply critical of demonetisation and held Modi responsible for unleashing “economic anarchy”. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray has criticised Modi several times and its MPs even joined a delegation led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to President Pranab Mukherjee against the currency ban.
In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena functionaries say the party is measuring the impact of currency ban, before making a final decision on whether to have a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the polls to 10 municipal corporations including Mumbai in February. According to a Sena leader who did not wish to be identified, the editorial attempts to position the party as “the one opposing the consequences of currency ban and siding with the suffering people.”
“We do not see any mitigation in the people’s suffering. Modi is certainly living in his own world where there is no suffering due to demonetisation. We cannot afford to overlook the large scale anarchy,” said the Sena leader. The editorial expresses this sentiment. Claiming that more than 400 people had died in the ATM queues due to the currency shortage, the editorial says Modi’s address did not betray any regrets for these deaths. “Thanking people who died in the queues, Modi launched new schemes which are actually old schemes,” says the editorial.
The Shiv Sena editorial claimed that the direct assistance of Rs6,000 that Modi announced for pregnant women was actually implemented by the UPA government under the name Indira Gandhi Maternity Assistance Scheme. The scheme was routed and implemented through the National Food Security Act from 2013, it said. The people, it added, had lot of hopes from Modi’s much-publicised speech but the prime minister disappointed them by not addressing their anxieties. “The prime minister did not say how long the public harassment will continue nor did he tell how much of black money has been unearthed,” the editorial says.