The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have come in support of their ruling ally Shiv Sena, following Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) attack after a retired Navy Officer was allegedly attacked by saffron party activists.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant slammed BJP for its doublespeak. He reminded that a retired soldier Sonu Mahajan from Jalgaon was attacked in 2016 allegedly by BJP legislator Unmesh Patil, who is now a Lok Sabha member. However, the Devendra Fadnavis government did not even notice that Mahajan was attacked, nor did it file an FIR.
Sawant said, when will BJP, which is fighting for justice for retired Navy Officer Madan Sharma, give justice to Mahajan. “An FIR was lodged after the High Court issued an order in 2019, but no action has been taken against Unmesh Patil till date. Neither Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, nor his predecessors took notice. Is Rajnath Singh going to call after noticing the attack on Sonu Mahajan? Why should the Defense Minister discriminate between soldiers?’’ asked Sawant. He cited that the Defence Minister is already calling up Sharma, but had made no call to Mahajan.
Sawant further said, in the case of Sharma, the FIR was immediately lodged. “BJP should give an answer as to why such promptness was not shown in the Jalgaon case. But the BJP's patriotism and respect for the soldiers is evident from the statement of its own Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Prashant Paricharak about the soldiers,’’ he noted.
Sawant said that the Congress will pursue the ex-soldier Sonu Mahajan’s case with the state government and will try to give him justice.
On other hand, NCP leader and Minister of Housing Jitendra Awhad released a video of speech given by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. “It's natural. When someone slaps you in the ear for no reason, should you say 'nice, cool’ or should you hit harder? Don’t want a Shiv Sainik who will just clap his hands. Keep your hand ready to slap if someone hits you,” Thackeray had reportedly said in his speech. However, BJP has reminded Awhad that his boss and former Union Minister was slapped by a youth during the UPA rule.