Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday hit out at minister Mahadev Jankar over his claim that Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt will join his Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, and asked what the Dhangar (shepherd) community, which Jankar’s party represents, will gain out of it.
Labelling Jankar’s claim as “entertaining”, the Sena claimed that schemes envisaged by the government for the community have remained only on paper, and the key promise of giving them reservation “vanished into thin air”.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Shiv Sena also asked Jankar what he has to say about the promises made to Dhangars remaining “unfulfilled”.
The Dhangar community has been demanding reservation under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. It is currently classified under the Vimukta Jati Nomadic Tribes grouping.
“What will Dhangars get if cinemawallas (film personalities) are to come (in the party)? If Sanjay Dutt is to join Jankar’s party, then Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar will join Ramdas Athawale’s party and Salman Khan and others will apply for joining the Ambedkar-Owaisi’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi,” the Sena said.
“This is all a joke. Only expectation is that the joke shouldn’t relegate to mockery,” said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which is also an ally of the BJP in Maharashtra and at the Centre.
At the Sunday event, Jankar also said the RSPwould not contest the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls on the BJP’s symbol of ‘lotus’.
Referring to it, the Sena said the “honey bee” RSP, however, moved around the ‘lotus’ over the past five years.
“A flower, be it any, and the honey bee cannot do without each other. Yet, Jankar spoke (about not contesting poll on BJP symbol). But none should consider it (Jankar’s comment) as a soft joke,” the Marathi publication said.
At Jankar’s Sunday event, the concerns of the Dhangar community were expected to be raised. But Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was to attend the event, and some other ministers did not turn up there, it noted.
Fadnavis had gone to New Delhi on Sunday to attend the cremation of former Union minister Arun Jaitley, who died a day earlier.
The Shiv Sena said the concerns of Dhangars still remained and the promise of providing hostels to students from the community was also unfulfilled.
The cases filed against Dhangar youths (when they protested to raise the quota demand) were still not withdrawn, despite the government promising so, the editorial said, and asked what Jankar has to say on this.
“If Dutt joining the RSP will solve these issues, then he must be given a stick and blanket (the two gears that Dhangars often carry),” the Sena quipped.