Shiv Sena virtually terms BJP 'old wine in new bottle'

Mumbai, Feb 23: The Shiv Sena on Monday virtually termed the BJP - its ally in the Maharashtra government - "old wine in new bottle", and wondered what has changed since the erstwhile 15-year Congress-NCP rule.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena posed a direct question to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): "What has changed with this new government? If anyone knows, please enlighten us."

Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis

It also attacked the BJP for what it termed its "failure" to nab the killers of Communist leader and anti-toll tax activist Govind Pansare in Kolhapur Feb 16.

"Both the Dabholkar and Pansare murders took place in broad daylight in full public view. Twenty teams are set up to probe the Pansare killing. Many such teams were formed for Dabholkar murder, but to no avail. What is happening in Maharashtra? Will somebody enlighten us?" the editorial demanded.

Comparing it with the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in August 2013, the Sena said: "Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the government has changed, but the system remains the same. It's the same old story, screenplay, heroes and villains, but in a new movie."

While Dabholkar's killers are still at large since the past 18 months, Pansare's killers have also eluded the dragnet of over two dozen police teams for the past one week now.

"The chief minister says that if police put in their full might, they may succeed in catching the killers. This is a joke. He is the home minister of the state, and seems to lack trust in his own police. The honourable chief minister has not even guided the police on what he expects from them," the Sena said.

The editorial recalled how Fadnavis had blamed the system in the past.

It advised that as now people have changed the government, it was the chief minister's responsibility to 'change the system', which is "like a jumping, galloping horse, only the one who rides it strongly can run the state".

Referring to the BJP's demand for the resignation of the then Congress chief minister and NCP home minister after Dabholkar's murder, the Sena pointed out that the same demand is being made by those two parties (Congress, Nationalist Congress Party) now as Fadnavis holds the home portfolio.

The Shiv Sena also voiced concern over lack of CCTVs to help police, and asked the authorities to improve the 'system' before blaming police for their failures.


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