Shiv Sena, which seems to enjoy being a thorn in BJP’s foot, took their enjoyment further by writing an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna attacking Goa CM Manohar Parrikar. The article’s title roughly translates to “Parrikar hope you lose! Can the post of Defence Ministry be taken for granted so easily?”
The article written on Friday was triggered by a video clip, where Parrikar was quoted as saying that he wouldn’t worry about losing the Panajim by-polls on 23rd August, for he can go back to becoming the Defence Minister of the country.
Pinning their entire argument around the alleged quote by Parrikar, the article went ahead to claim that Parrkiar’s image as an honest and true politician had been proved wrong. It further claimed that through this statement, Parrikar had also insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It further said that Parrikar’s statement not only insulted the post of Chief Minister, but also degraded the Defence Ministry post.
Sena decided not to stop at this and termed Parrikar’s defence minister tenure as a miserable failure and alleged that while India was facing difficulties at the border, Parrikar had gone on a vacation to Goa to devour fish curry and rice.
Now it seems that Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena might have to eat their words, as the alleged remark by Parrikar turns out to be fake. He reportedly never made any such remark, least of all on a video. This bit of remark cropped up when it was circulated as a news report by a fake website made specifically for such hit-jobs.
The BJP has taken action against this now unreachable website named www.primenews-goa.com where the video originated. On Thursday, the party filed a complaint with the Election Commission and also filed a criminal complaint at the Goa Police’s Cyber Crime Cell against unknown accused for peddling fake news against Manohar Parrikar.
Panaji BJP’s General Secretary Pundalik Rautdessai who filed the complaint stated that:
An attempt has been made by circulating a distorted and false news item on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp amongst others, to create falsehood, malign the image of our candidate Manohar Parrikar and to misguide the electorate of Panaji constituency
Manohar Parrkar had himself denied the allegations against himand stated that it showed the level of desperation and frustration of his opponents.
This whole episode raises some serious questions over the BJP-Sena alliance. If indeed the BJP had denied the whole episode and a complaint too was filed on Thursday, why did Sena decide to carry the editorial on Friday, and why hasn’t it yet been pulled down with an apology? Also why did Shiv Sena not try and verify the alleged statement before attacking a senior leader of their alliance partner?
This isn’t the only time Sena has been a difficult partner for the BJP. The party keeps attacking the BJP on regular intervals over whichever issue it deems fit. It has made recent attacks on the BJP over the Kashmir and Bengal situation, called PM’s Independence speech a rhetoric and keeps threatning the Fadnavis government even though are still a part of it.