Mumbai: Shiv Sena today flayed its ruling partner BJP for “according protection” to Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali while threatening to disrupt a Marathi literary meet because of a writer’s alleged derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “How can those threatening to disrupt the Marathi literary meet for the writer’s comments accord protection to Ghulam Ali,” Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut asked.
“The Shiv Sena opposes Ghulam Ali. The stance adopted for the writer Shripal Sabnis should also be the same for Ghulam Ali. But there is a difference. “You (BJP) will protect Ghulam Ali and not protect Sabnis. This is wrong,” Raut said.
Sabnis, author and president of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, had recently stirred a hornet’s nest with his alleged remarks against Modi. However, he yesterday expressed “regret” over the episode but stopped short of tendering an apology.
The BJP had accepted Sabnis’ “regret” and said that every word he speaks will be under scrutiny during the Marathi literary meet starting tomorrow in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Raut recalled that BJP MP Amar Sable had threatened to disrupt the inaugural ceremony of the literary meet if Sabnis did not apologise for his controversial remarks against the Prime Minister.
Sabnis had allegedly criticised the Prime Minister’s surprise visit to Pakistan last month and said that Modi could have fallen to a bullet or a bomb explosion at the Lahore airport and a condolence meeting would have been organised for him instead of poet Mangesh Padgaonkar (who died recently).