Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: Cornering its own ally, Shiv Sena on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government cannot shrug off its responsibility on the matter pertaining to a meeting between yoga guru Ramdev`s aide and senior journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik and Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed.
Adopting a tough stand, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray hit out at the government, saying Vaidik`s meeting with Saeed amounts to sedition.
"Just saying that the government has nothing to do with the meeting won`t suffice. Had it been a Congress government and any journalist would have met Hafiz or Dawood Ibrahim, BJP would have attacked the government," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece `Saamana` said.
"But today we are in power. So just saying that the government has nothing to do with this won`t do. What is needed is to go to the bottom of the issue," the Sena said.
"There should not be any Hindu-Muslim discrimination as this is a matter of national security. If the journalist is let off, tomorrow anyone will go and enjoy biryani with Dawood, Tiger Memon and Saeed," the newspaper said.
"The Modi government has begun well. It should not face problem because of misadventure of an individual. It is good that the External Affairs Minister condemned the meeting in Parliament," the Sena said.
Meeting Saeed, the country`s enemy, amounts to "treason" and the government should take stern action against the journalist, it said, adding: “Who gave Vaidik the authority to comment on issues pertaining to India`s sovereignty and integrity?”
"We are amazed by the behaviour of Pakistan government and the ISI. How come the Pakistan government, which refuses visa to ordinary Indians, was so generous with Vaidik," the Sena said.
The scribe had met Saeed in Lahore on July 2 while touring Pakistan.
Facing opposition heat, a cornered government had on Tuesday denounced Vaidik`s meeting with Saeed and sought a report from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
The government`s disapproval of the meeting with a man wanted in India came as an unrelenting opposition took on the Narendra Modi government in both houses of Parliament, leading to repeated disruptions.
For the second consecutive day, Vaidik claimed he met Saeed -- the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack and one of three terrorists India freed in 1999 after an Indian Airlines planed was hijacked -- as a journalist.