Shiv Sena's reluctance to shed Hindutva upsets Congress
Congress MP's demand for banning Sanatan Sanstha hasn't been received too well by Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena, which formed an alliance with the Congress and NCP over assurance of softening its Hindutva stand, now seems to be shy of abandoning it. This might become a flashpoint between the alliance members of the Maha Vikas Aghadi.
This became evident when Sena's senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said that banning the controversial Hindutva organisation — Sanatan Sanstha — wouldn't resolve the issue (regarding its followers' alleged involvement in the killing of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare).
The demand to ban the outfit was raised by Congress MP Hussain Dalwai. There is also a demand for criminal cases against the alleged accused in Koregaon Bhima riots to be withdrawn. Right-wing activists like Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, who were allegedly protected by the previous BJP-Sena regime, must be brought to book and tried, the MP demanded.
"Bhide and Ekbote were directly involved in the Koregaon Bhima riots but they were protected because they belonged to a certain ideology. These people have been spreading terror. We expect the new government to take action in this regard," Dalwai told reporters.
With regard to Bhide, some NCP leaders from western Maharashtra have also been protective. Dalwai wanted them to change their stand and support his demand. "I'm confident that CM Uddhav Thackeray will not tolerate this kind of extremism and take action," said the Rajya Sabha MP.
MVA's left-wing sympathisers have demanded that cases against activists who are accused of supporting Maoist movement (participants of Elgar Parishad) should also be dropped.
Sena shedding Hindutva?
Raut told reporters in New Delhi that banning Sanatan Sanstha would not resolve the issues raised. He said the Sanatan Sanstha wasn't part of the common minimum programme of MVA.
The alliance had spent three spent days to fine-tune the common minimum programme of which preamble to the Indian Constitution was held sacrosanct. The preamble talks about secularism.
In the past, Sena has been a vociferous supporter of the Sanatan Sanstha. One of the accused in the Dabholkar murder case was felicitated last year by some Sena office-bearers.
Ever since the MVA took shape, the BJP has been targetting the Sena for trying to shed the Hindutva tag. Ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis had asked why a title 'Hinduhridaysamrat (the emperor of Hindutva)' that precedes the name of Sena founder late Bal Thackeray was dropped. In response, Thackeray had said he would never ever abandon Hindutva. In view of a renewed demand in Koregaon Bhima and the murders of rationalists, the BJP has mounted its attack further.
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