While opposing sports ties with Pakistan following the killing of Indian soldiers on the borders, the Shiv Sena has castigated the BJP’s Hindutva poster-boy and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for allowing the Pakistan cricket team to play a match at Rajkot.
An editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Tuesday said that while the Gujarat government had turned away a 22-member Pakistani delegation which had come down to participate in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit due to India’s strained relations with Pakistan, “a fortnight ago, the entire Pakistani cricket team was playing in Rajkot.”
“If the Modi government had sent the Pakistani cricketers back in a similar manner, then there would have been another feather of patriotism in Gujarat’s cap. At least Maharashtra and Gujarat must join hands to fight the battle against the Pakistanis,” said the piece in the newspaper, which has Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray as the editor and Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut as the executive editor.
Incidentally, the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had declared his support for leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj as the BJP led NDA’s prime ministerial candidate instead of Modi.
“When it comes to patriotism, it is only the Shiv Sainik who takes blows to the chest,” said the Sena, while referring to how the party cadre had driven away Pakistani hockey players who were due to participate in a practice match in Mumbai on Sunday.
“Is it solely the Shiv Sena’s responsibility to pit its life for patriotism and against the Pakistanis? The country belongs to all. Hence all must participate in this struggle,” it added.