Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Thursday tore into the Devendra Fadnavis government over the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Maharashtra, alleging it had no work except to fight elections using the state machinery and police.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s bickering ally said it was time the government geared up to fight enemies. “Incidents that raise questions on the ability and the stand of the Fadnavis government are happening everyday. The chief minister has ordered a judicial inquiry into the Bhima-Koregaon incident but every government does the same thing. What is new in that?" an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana read.
The Sena said the government should have had the knowledge about mischief mongers working behind the curtains to cause social unrest and the people coming from other states to create tension. “The state is bearing the brunt of the BJP having control of the Home department and politics in the police department. When the only work left is to fight elections using the government machinery and the police, violent incidents take place," it alleged.
The party said the government should bring its feet on the ground, and that there was a whole life to fight the Sena. “You can try all your might to politically finish the Sena later. For now, this might should be used to fight the enemies," said the party, which has frequently criticised the Maharashtra government and the Centre though it is a constituent of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Violence erupted in Pune on 1 January when Dalit groups were celebrating the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which the British defeated the Peshwas of Maharashtra. Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed soldiers from the Mahar community were part of the East India Company’s forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins and the victory is seen as a symbol of Dalit assertiveness.
Angry over the violence on the anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, protesters on Wednesday attacked buses, stopped suburban trains and blocked roads at various places in Mumbai as normal life was hit in the city and other parts of Maharashtra during a bandh called by Dalit groups.