In a veiled attack against the alliance partner Shiv Sena, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said they don’t have to take lessons on “rashtrawad” patriotism from anybody. Although he did not mention Shiv Sena, it was evident that his ire was against Sena which criticised Narendra Modi government for soft peddling on Pakistan at its annunal Dussera rally held at Shivaji Park on Thursday night.
At a Google hangout organised by the Loksatta newspaper, Fadnavis held interaction with people across India and abroad.
On Sena’s sermons to BJP for softening its stand on Pakistan and pratiotism he said, “ The BJP has always kept the national interest upmost.” In a sharp retort to Sena, he said, “ It is very easy to sit in air-conditioned cabin and give dose on patriotism.” But I am proud to state that I myself have thrice participated in various agitation in Kashmir at the peak of terrorism or Indo-Pakistan conflict. I had gone to Lal Chowk in Kashmir to agitate at the peak of attack.”
The CM was then just 18 years and 21 years old.
It was former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi who hosted the national flag at Lal chowk in Kashmir. We were part of that agitation.”
However, Fadnavis indicated that BJP-Shiv Sena relations in government were cordial. On Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s suggestion that he should avail the services of Sena ministers, Fadnavis said, “ Every minister is accorded the freedom and rights to work. It also applies for Sena ministers who are given total authority to and freedom to function. If they have any problems I immediately address it.”
The Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has been voicing his protest against Centre’s Pakistan policies through in-house newspaper Saamna regularly.
Fadnavis’ mention on aircondition cabinet was to Sena leaders who have always believed in verbal war and never actually participated in any agitation for the country.