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Shiv Sena attacks BJP over Bhima-Koregaon violence, says 'Maharashtra is on fire'

Shiv Sena has attacked the ruling BJP over its failure to contain the Bhima-Koregaon violence that broke out in Pune on Monday.

Shiv Sena attacks BJP over Bhima-Koregaon violence, says 'Maharashtra is on fire'

Mumbai: While the Dalit MLAs of the ruling BJP have remained tight-lipped over the recent Bhima-Koregaon violence that engulfed parts of Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray has been more vocal in attacking the Devendra Fadnavis government over its failure to contain it.

In a strongly-worded article in its mouthpiece ''Saamana'', the party said that only BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis is to be blamed for the deadly violence that erupted in Pune and soon spread to other parts of the state.''

Continuing its attack, the Sena article said that the people of Maharashtra had to suffer because of Mumbai Police's complicity with the ruling party. It further alleged that nothing could be done since Maharashtra's Minister of State for Home belongs to BJP.

The Sena editorial also questioned the capability of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis government, which is "not able to control the ongoing chaos in the state".

"There is nothing new in ordering an inquiry in such matters, everyone does that. What new the Maharashtra government has done to tackle the issue. People from other states are coming in Maharashtra and carrying out such activities", the editorial stated.

It accused the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh president and the grandson of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar, of inciting the violence and averred that the latter should make an effort to bring back peace and normalcy in the state, rather than fanning the flames.

Giving a piece of advice to the ruling dispensation, the party said that the BJP government needs to rise above the petty politics of winning elections with the help of government machinery and the police. It should think of the welfare of the state, it added.

Cautioning the government, the Sena article said, ''In spite of wasting its resources in finishing Shiv Sena, the government should fight with the enemies of the state,'' adding, '' Entire Maharashtra is on fire and it will one day leave to ashes.''

Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had alleged a political conspiracy behind the Bhima-Koregaon violence and the subsequent tension that spread to other parts of Maharashtra.

"Today, there is an effort to divide our state on caste lines and it's all a political conspiracy," Raut said, adding that the leaders in the past had never let the state be divided on caste basis.

Raut observed that the widespread violence "is shocking, and a matter of concern to all" and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should track down the perpetrators.

"There are some invisible hands that want to finish Maharashtra because of its political greed. It is the Prime Minister's duty to find out who that is," he added.

The reactions from Shiv Sena came in the wake of violence that spilled over to adjoining parts of Maharashtra after clashes broke out between the Dalits and alleged right-wing groups on Monday during the bicentenary celebration of the Bhima-Koregaon battle near Pune.

The right-wing groups were objecting to the observance of 'Victory Day' since they considered it to be an anti-national celebration.

Both RSS and BJP are being accused of instigating the violence by opposition leaders.

In the battle, which was fought between the British East India Company, containing Dalits in its infantry, and the Peshwas, who were upper-caste Brahmins, at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818, the Marathas ultimately withdrew. 

Since then the lower-caste communities have been viewing it as a symbolic victory for themselves.

(With ANI inputs)