Mumbai: Notwithstanding its decision to boycott the swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis as Maharashtra Chief Minister, the Shiv Sena Friday provided covering fire to BJP from criticism for organising a lavish event, saying the ceremony will "wash off sins" of the previous government.
"You (Congress and NCP) have looted Maharashtra in your 15-year-rule and siphoned off thousands of crores of public money. If you are now speaking about a huge amount of money being spent on the oath-taking ceremony, it is nothing but hilarious," the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Sharad Pawar's NCP, which has already extended outside support to the BJP, had yesterday lashed out at the saffron party for holding a mega swearing-in ceremony for Fadnavis.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik had tweeted: "A party with a difference, hence the most lavish oath-taking ceremony in the history of Maharashtra government formation."
Earlier, the Congress had on Wednesday accused the BJP of 'compromising' the dignity of the swearing-in ceremony and said the saffron party has turned the event into a festival.
"The decorum and seriousness of the swearing-in has been lost," Congress spokesman Anant Gadgil had said.
However, the Sena described the oath-taking ceremony as being held to wash away "sins of the previous government."
"Maharashtra is saddled with a debt of Rs 3.5 lakh crore. Why this huge debt? The debt is the result of the (Congress-NCP) coalition government of the last 15 years. Today's ceremony is to wash off the sins committed by them. Organising this ceremony will incur some costs. Since it marks the end of the ego and corruption of the previous government, people will not mind the cost," it said.
The new Chief Minister should ensure that industrialists who reside in Maharashtra play their part in the state's development and create job opportunities for people, the Sena said.
"We extend our heartfelt greetings to the new Chief Minister. Bring good days for Maharashtra and rule happily. This is only what we expect from you," it added.