Free Press Journal

We want to see strength of opposition on raising public issues, says Shiv Sena on Bharat Bandh          

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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Monday took a jibe at opposition parties, stating their nationwide bandh against the rising fuel prices should not look like a sudden act undertaken after waking up from a “long sleep”. The BJP’s bickering ally said it has been carrying the burden of opposition parties on its shoulders for long and it now wants to see where these outfits stand on pro-people issues.

“We have been carrying the burden of opposition leaders so far and we now want to see the strength of the opposition. People’s interests are protected when opposition parties perform (their duty) with efficiency,” the Sena said in an editorial published in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

The Marathi daily said people may ask the Sena where it stands on the issue of joining the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called Monday by the Congress to protest the rising prices of petrol and diesel and supported by several opposition parties. Responding to its own query, the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit said it wanted to see the strength of the opposition on key issues.


“The people of this country have been watching closely how inflation is rising and petrol and diesel prices are escalating. “Hopefully, the bandh should not look like the opposition has suddenly woken up from a long sleep on peoples issues and called for the bandh,” the Sena publication said. “Let some in the opposition parties realise where exactly they stand when it comes to peoples issues,” it said.

The party targeted Maharashtra minister and BJP leader Chandrakant Patil over his reported comments that one should step into shoes of BJP leaders to realise how difficult it is to run a government. “Patil should know that it is easier to be a BJP leader than being a common man. Rising petrol prices have a direct impact on escalation of cost of essential items such as foodgrains, milk, eggs, public transport among others,” the editorial said.

The Maharashtra-based party hit at out the BJP-led NDA government for not fulfilling pre-poll promises. “During the 2014 general election, Narendra Modi had made a promise of generating two crore jobs. On the contrary, 20 lakh jobs have been lost almost every year under the Modi regime,” the Sena alleged.

“The way the government is putting up billboards about growth in the GDP, it should also put up boards of how fuel prices are skyrocketing,” the party said. The party also wondered when BJP leaders are going to find time to talk about rising prices of fuel instead of targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The Union government had earned a profit of Rs 2.29 lakh crore from the sale of petrol and diesel. The BJP is in power (along with allies) in 22 states and it can easily bring down the cost of fuel in these states, said the Shiv Sena. The Sena is part of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and also in Maharashtra. However, it often slams government policies and also criticises BJP leaders on a range of issues.