Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday termed the BJP as the "real hypocrite" for criticising Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over his Ayodhya visit, saying this exposes the "evil intentions" of its former ally.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the opposition in Maharashtra is baffled because the Shiv Sena, despite joining hands with its ideological opponent Congress, has not distanced itself from 'Hindutva'.
On completion of his 100 days in office, Thackeray visited the temple town of Ayodhya on Saturday and paid obeisance to Ram Lalla at the makeshift Ram Janambhoomi temple there.
"The BJP is the real hypocrite when it calls Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra CM Thackeray the same (hypocrite) over his visit to Ayodhya. Instead of being happy over Thackeray's visit to Ram temple in Ayodhya, BJP leaders seem to be unable to digest it," the Sena said.
The way Maharashtra BJP leaders are criticising Thackeray, their "evil intentions" are getting exposed, the Marathi publication said.
"Despite joining hands with the Congress, the Shiv Sena has not distanced itself from Hindutva and this is the main reason why the opposition is bewildered," it said.
The ruling alliance partners may be following different schools of thought, but serving people and treating them equally is humane, which Lord Ram used to follow and now "we are doing the same thing", the Thackeray-led party said. The Shiv Sena also alleged that the opposition wanted "Delhi-like riots" to happen in Maharashtra as well.
"The opposition in Maharashtra was expecting violence here like in Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act. But, Thackeray handled the situation carefully and not even a minor incident is reported," it said.
The Sena also lashed out at Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil over his reported remark that if his heart is opened, one can find Lord Ram in it.
"Chandmiyan (referring to Patil) does not need to open his heart. Maharashtra saw 100 days back how much venom is filled in his heart. How can Lord Ram be found in such heart?" the Sena wondered.
It was apparently referring to the hush-hush swearing-in ceremony of BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy on November 23 last year after the state Assembly polls. The alliance did not last more than 80 hours.
Subsequently, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress joined hands to form the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government and Thackeray was sworn in as chief minister on November 28.
Hitting out further at the state BJP chief, the Sena said Patil's comments indicate the opposition's "level of frustration and that it has no direction".
"No person or a party has sole ownership over Lord Ram," the Marathi daily said.
Just because it (BJP) brought a 'washing machine' to covert a dacoit into Valmiki does not mean one has understood the essence of Ramayana, the Sena said.
It was referring to remarks made by some BJP leaders before the last year's Assembly elections that they have a "washing powder" which first cleans the political opponents before they are inducted into the saffron outfit.