Shiv Sena flays BJP over Uttarakhand crisis

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday attacked the BJP over the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, accusing its ally of “strangling democracy”.

In an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the party warned that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s action may be repeated in Congress-ruled states like Himachal Pradesh and Manipur, creating political instability and anarchy in the country.

It said the BJP in Uttarakhand used nine rebel Congress legislators to destabilize the Congress-led government, which was given time by the governor till March 28 to prove its majority.

“A day before this (March 27), President’s Rule was imposed. What has the BJP gained out of this?” the Sena asked.

Ousted chief minister Harish Rawat challenged the President’s rule in the Uttarakhand High Court, which has ordered a floor test.

“The significant aspect is that the (high court) registrar will personally remain present during this exercise. This decision of the court could have major and far-reaching ramifications,” the Sena said.

The Sena said earlier the BJP removed the Congress regime in Arunachal Pradesh and, after Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Manipur could follow suit.

“Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Vir Bhadra Singh is on the BJP’s ‘radar’ ever since he refused to host the India-Pakistan cricket match in Dharamshala. Corruption cases against him were initiated. It will not be a surprise if a Uttarakhand is repeated in HP.

“By this, the BJP is giving an opportunity to the opposition parties to unite,” the Sena pointed out.

Reiterating its opposition to the Congress, the Sena made it clear that a democratically elected government must be removed only in a democratic manner or it would lead to political instability.

In a democracy, the voice of the opposition was of paramount importance and should not be strangled since a single-party rule would be worse than an Emergency or dictatorship, it said.

“The country will be destroyed if the opposition is targeted and snuffed out and poison is used on allies,” the Sena warned.