Mumbai: The Shiv Sena did not participate in the Bharat Bandh called for by the Congress and other opposition parties to protest escalating fuel prices. However, the party was quick to claim that it was with the people on the issue of inflation. In its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena predicted that “people would burn the rulers like the Lanka Dahan in the Ramayana in the 2019 elections.” While Sena leader Sanjay Raut denied any pressure on the party by BJP chief Amit Shah not to join the bandh, the Congress slammed the Sena for not supporting it. Mr Chavan said, “Nowadays, it (the Sena) does not roar, it only barks.”
Sena in its Monday editorial said, “Now, questions will be raised over the Sena not participating in the bandh. We want to say that we are with the people only. We have sympathy for them. In the last four years, Sena has served as the real opposition in terms of supporting people’s issues. Now, let the opposition test its capacity to protest.”
Targeting the Sena for not participating in the bandh, Congress leader Ashok Chavan said, “I read somewhere on social media that the Sena does not roar nowadays; it only barks.” The former chief minister said that the Sena should stop targeting the government through Saamana as it is also a part of that same government. “You can’t fool people always. You are in government. You are trying to fool people through this drama of opposing the BJP,” he said.