“The Khalistan topic is over and for that Indira Gandhi and General Arun Kumar Vaidya laid down their lives,” said Shiv Sena, referring to recent use of the term targeting farmers’ protests.
In its latest attack on former ally BJP, the Shiv Sena came down heavily in its mouthpiece Saamana. The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI “should be sent to the borders” to tackle terrorists entering Jammu and Kashmir, the Sena taunted the BJP, after one of its MLAs was raided by the ED. The party also slammed the centre over the treatment of protesting farmers near Delhi “who are called terrorists”, saying it was “cruel” to use water cannons on them in the cold wave sweeping parts of north India.
In an editorial of Saamana, the Sena referred to the giant statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat “erected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah”, while reminding that the iconic first Home Minister of the country had led many farmers’ agitations against the British. “His statue must be weeping now, seeing how farmers are being treated,” read the article.
Taking a dig at the centre for its alleged use of central agencies to target opposition-ruled state politicians, the Sena said: “The government thinks to stop opposition, they can use the ED (Enforcement Directorate), CBI. Hence these agencies should be given an opportunity to prove their valour. Every time bullets don’t work. At Delhi’s border, our farmers are called terrorists while terrorists are entering the J&K border. At such times, ED and CBI should be sent to the borders. There is no other option…”
“The BJP is not just ruining the country’s environment but is also inviting autocracy. The Khalistan topic is over and for that Indira Gandhi and General Arun Kumar Vaidya laid down their lives. But BJP wants to bring that topic up again and do politics in Punjab. If this ignites a spark then it will be disastrous for the country,” the Saamana editorial said, in a reference to the allegations of Khalistan sympathisers participating in ongoing farmers’ protest.
The “Khalistan” term came into the light again last week when Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar and other BJP leaders alleged slogans of the Sikh separatist movement were raised by protesters. “We have inputs of some such unwanted elements in the crowds. We have reports, will disclose once it’s concrete. They raised such slogans. In videos they said ‘jab Indira Gandhi ko ye kar sakte hain, toh Modi ko kyu nahi kar sakte (If we can do this to Indira Gandhi, why not (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi),” ML Khattar told reporters, referring to unverified videos doing rounds on the social media.