Shiv Sena slams Modi for using Indian Army valour in Galwan for Bihar polls

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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of playing caste politics ahead of elections to the Bihar assembly.

An editorial in the party’s newspaper Saamana on Friday contended Modi had used the valour of the Indian Army in the clash with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley for the upcoming election. It accused Modi of being an “expert” at playing caste politics.

Modi had praised the Bihar Regiment, which was involved in the violent face-off of June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, and said its valour would make every Bihari proud.

The unit that bore the brunt of the violent clash with Chinese troops was from the Bihar Regiment but the soldiers were drawn from across the country.

Modi had said, “Today when I am speaking to the people of Bihar, I will say the valour was of Bihar Regiment, every Bihari is proud of it.”

The editorial in Saamana said, “Prime Minister Modi is an expert in such [caste] politics. He sang praises of the valour of the Bihar Regiment in Galwan Valley. Earlier, when the country faced a crisis on its borders, were the Mahar, Maratha, Rajput, Sikh, Gorkha, Dogra regiments sitting idle and mixing chewing tobacco on the borders? Yesterday, Maharashtra’s Sunil Kale (a CRPF trooper) attained martyrdom in Pulwama (during a gun battle with terrorists). Due to the upcoming Bihar elections, importance is being given to caste and region in the Indian Army. Such politics is a disease, which is graver than the Coronavirus.”

The editorial added that the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition party in Maharashtra, is also practising such politics. The reference was apparently in light of BJP legislator Gopichand Padalkar’s controversial remark on Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.

Padalkar had on Wednesday called Pawar the “Coronavirus” that has infected Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena mouthpiece said the BJP uses people from different communities for political advantage.

“Gopichand says that Pawar uses smaller communities. Then why did the BJP choose Gopichand to become a legislator? This too is using smaller communities for politics,” it said, adding the BJP has now distanced itself from Padalkar’s statement.

It added, “Till yesterday Mahadev Jankar was with you. But now you don’t want him because he is close to [Pankaja] Munde. This too is caste politics.”

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