The Shiv Sena, in its party mouthpiece Saamana, has compared Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar to 26/11 conspirator Hafeez Saeed after his statement that incidents of communal violence in the state had been on the rise ever since Narendra Modi government came to power.
Reacting to the editorial, the NCP staged a protest and clashed with Sena supporters outside the Saamana office at Prabhadevi on Wednesday. “Just like Hafeez Saeed, NCP president Sharad Pawar has been shooting his mouth off,” said the edit in Saamana.
The NCP supremo had last Sunday said the atmosphere in the state was increasingly turning communal after the new government was formed at the Centre. Criticising the statement, the Sena edit said: “The incident in Pune is the responsibility of the state government. By blaming Modi, Pawar is making himself a laughing stock. Just like Hafeez Saeed, he should not shoot off his mouth and try to maintain the little bit of dignity that he is still left with.”
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The edit went on to say that the Lok Sabha poll defeat seemed to have affected Pawar. “It is difficult to predict what Sharad Pawar will say and when. After their abject defeat in the state, he seems to have lost his bearing. There was a killing in Maharashtra. How is Modi government responsible? This state is ruled by Pawar, the home minister is from his party. This killing is the failure of his government,” it said.
Pawar’s comparison with Sayeed did not go down well with NCP workers who held a demonstration outside the Saamana office at Prabhadevi where they had a face-off with Sena workers. A team of Rapid Action Force was deployed to ensure the violence did not escalate and the two groups were kept at bay.