Mumbai: Irked by Union Minister Arun Jaitley's remarks disapproving of its aggressive protests, Shiv Sena today hit back saying nobody should lecture Maharashtra on tolerance and claimed it is the only party which has "never betrayed people" for the sake of power.
Taking a jibe at BJP, the ally said those in government should have supported Shiv Sena in its national mission of targeting Pakistan, but power corrupts one's mind and "100 Baramatis can be seen." "Our country could be really developed if we have 100 towns developed like Baramati," Jaitley had said recently in Baramati, the home town of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
The Sena said governments have changed but issues of concern have remained the same. "In Kashmir, supporting Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and in Mumbai giving protection to a former Pakistan minister strengthens tolerance," it sarcastically said in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
Sena, a partner of the BJP in the state as well as at the Centre, has been under attack from various quarters for its aggressive protests against cultural and sporting relations with Pakistan after its activists blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni and stormed the BCCI office.
Jaitley had on Tuesday deprecated the rising incidents of intolerance and vandalism, calling them an "extremely disturbing trend" and had said there is a need to convey differing opinion in a more democratic manner through debate.
The Sena editorial wondered how India's culture of tolerance was threatened due to Sena's act of preventing Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai and protesting against the book launch of former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.
In a democracy, street protests by political parties are important. Otherwise political struggles will be a thing of the past, it pointed out. "Because of Pakistan's anti-India activities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to address the nation from behind a bullet-proof glass.
Pakistan will kill our jawans, threaten us. Should we lay red carpet for Pakistanis on the blood of our martyrs?" it asked. It said "Shiv Sena has never compromised on Maharashtra's self- respect and national security.
The party is a shining example of hardcore Hindutva. Sena is the only political party which has never betrayed its people for the sake of power," it said. "Strong nationalism and Hindutva flourished in this land because of icons like Lokmanya Tilak, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Veer Savarkar.
They have fought tooth and nail against the country's enemies. Nobody should lecture Shivaji's Maharashtra about tolerance," it said. The Sena said it is capable of "countering any move to get it declared by the UN as a terrorist outfit".