Hitting back at BJP MP Poonam Mahajan who blamed "urban Maoists" for recent stir by farmers in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena today asked if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis could be dubbed a "Maoism supporter" by the same logic as he has accepted the demands of the protesters.
"The Chief Minister held a meeting with the protesters and agreed to accept their demands. Does this mean that he supports Maoism and thereby has committed a sin?" the Sena questionned in an editorial published in party mouthpiece 'Saamana' today.
The huge support received by the protest, organised by Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), forced the BJP-led state government to accept almost all demands of the agitating farmers, including a complete loan waiver and transfer of forest land rights to tribals tilling them.
Drawing an analogy between the incident of razing of Lenin's statue in Tripura and protesting farmers in Maharashtra, the Sena said, "Protesting farmers hailed the same ideology and chanted slogans in the name of Lenin. The CM praised the sons of Lenin and accepted their demands. This means that felling statues does not finish an ideology".
While Mahajan equated the march of farmers with urban Maoism, there was not a single anti-national slogan shouted during the protest, the edit said.
In a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sena said, "At a time when China is posing a challenge in neighbouring Sri Lanka and Maldives by sowing Maoism, our prime minister is playing Holi with visiting President of France".
"It does not befit a party, which laid down a red carpet for a man who insulted Lord Ram and the Indian army, to link the protest march of farmers with Maoism," the Sena said.
He later expressed regret over his comments after his comments on Bachchan's Bollywood background led to a huge outrage.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)