Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday demanded action against Maharashtra BJP spokesman Avdhut Wagh who tried to link state minister Jayant Patil’s criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over lockdown announcement to 25 people contracting COVID-19 in his Assembly constituency in Sangli.
Such remarks not just malign Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but also hurt the legacy of progressive leaders and social reformers like Jyotiba Phule, Shahu Maharaj and Dr B R Ambedkar, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“What Avdhut Wagh has said is a fit case for taking action under the anti-superstition laws,” it said.
“When people venture out violating the lockdown, it is not Modi or the Maharashtra chief minister’s fault. Those who have hidden their travel history and violated quarantine rules have brought this crisis on the state,” the editorial said.
In a bizarre statement, Wagh on Sunday said NCP leader and state water resources minister Jayant Patil has been “punished” for his criticism of Modi.
Patil hails from western Maharashtra’s Sangli district, where 25 members of a family from Islampur tehsil have been found to be infected with COVID-19. Islampur is Patil’s Assembly constituency.
In a series of tweets, Patil had said instead of announcing the lockdown at 8 pm on March 24, the prime minister should have given enough time to migrant labourers to make necessary arrangements to face the shutdown impact.
Wagh’s comment came as part of his rebuttal to Patil.
Taking a dim view of the BJP leader’s remarks, the Sena said, “President Donald Trump is a big fan of Modi and still coronavirus has created havoc in the US. A city like New York has been silenced. Can someone clarify who punished Islampur and New York?”.
It said when the virus is spreading its tentacles, BJP spokespersons are saying anything they want.
Jayant Patil is not just a state minister but also president of the Maharashtra NCP. He put forth his view. Why should BJP leaders get so agitated?”the Marathi daily said.
“Do they want to say homes, talukas, villages and cities ofthose who criticise Modi should be affected with coronavirus? What if someone says those who call Modi the avatar of Lord Vishnu wish destructionof Maharashtra,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
It said Delhi got more 29 more coronavirus patients on Tuesday, but nobody criticised Modi there.
In Nagpur, the hometown of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Nitin Gadkari, the figure (of COVID-19 cases) is more than 20, it pointed out.
“If the figure in states that have not criticised Modi is rising, then it is defeat of his godliness,” it stated.
The entire country is with Modi in this fight against coronavirus and even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has supported the decisions taken by the Modi government, it said.
“Why is it that those who call themselves ‘bhakts’ behave in such a manner?” the Marathi publication asked.
The Sena said it was confident that if Modi comes to know about such comments, he would take action against his own party men. (PTI)
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