Shivaji statue vandalism: Shiv Sena, NCP hit out at Modi, Shah

Both failed to condemn Karnataka BJP, they say. Sena demands resignation of Bommai

A day after a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was allegedly desecrated in Bengaluru, the Shiv Sena launched protests across Maharashtra against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Karnataka and called for the resignation of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

The Nationalist Congress Party — the Sena’s ally in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi Government — joined in as well, with particularly intense protests in Mumbai and Pune as activists raised slogans against Mr. Bommai and the Karnataka Government.

Hitting out at the BJP leaders and their “acolytes” for remaining silent, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking action against the Karnataka BJP’s leadership which permitted the desecration to take place.

“Chhatrapati Shivaji not only expressed the dream of Swarajya but made it come true. If the great king is being insulted in the land of a BJP Government with its blessings, then why is the Prime Minister silent? We are very angry about this affair yet we are expressing our anger in a restrained manner,” he said.

Calling the BJP’s top leaders “hypocrites”, Mr. Sawant pressed them to take action against Mr. Bommai.

“How dare Mr. Bommai dismiss this incident [statue vandalising] as ‘trivial’…the Sena demands his immediate resignation,” he said.

The NCP workers protested against Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Pune, where the latter laid a foundation stone to a Shivaji statue.

The NCP said Mr. Shah and the BJP were merely using Chhatrapati Shivaji for “political convenience” and chastised the Home Minister for refusing to condemn the Karnataka Government.

Earlier in the day, the NCP activists staged a protest demanding that Mr. Shah turn back.

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