Kulkarni attack: Shiv Sena says BJP can opt out of govt if hurt

Kulkarni attack: Shiv Sena says BJP can opt out of govt if hurt

Unfazed by the all-round attack over blackening Sudheendra Kulkarni's face, the Shiv Sena today brazened it out by likening him to 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab and felicitated the attackers as fissures with ally BJP raised questions about the continuance of the party in the Maharashtra government.

The Sena, a junior partner in the BJP-led governments in Maharashtra and at the Centre, also locked horns with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for criticising it, saying he had "failed to understand Maharashtra" and that his condemnation of the incident brought the state "a bad name".

Continuing with its shrill anti-Pakistan stance, a day after the paint attack triggered outrage, Shiv Sena said India faced greater threat from people like Kulkarni than extremists and terrorists. The party called him a "Pakistani agent".

"The real threat to the sovereignty of our nation is not due to extremists or terrorists, but people like Kulkarni. People like him are out to cut the neck of our nation.. When there are people like him present here, Pakistan does not need to send people like Kasab for terrorist activities," the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

The attack on Kulkarni yesterday came hours before he defied the Sena threat and went ahead with the launch of the book of Pakistan's former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

"An atmosphere has been created where it now seems that Khurshid Kasuri is a messenger of peace or a Mahatma and the Sena has committed a crime by opposing him. However much we are criticised and maligned, we will not change our stand against Pakistan," it said.

Kulkarni hit back at Sena, saying "I have been labelled a Pakistani agent in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'. I respect their freedom of expression. They should also respect others' freedom of expression."

"When it is said I am a Pakistani agent, I say yes, I am an agent but an agent of peace and will continue to be one," he said.

The Sena, whose relations with senior partner BJP has been under strain for quite some time now, also assailed Fadnavis over his criticism of its attack on Kulkarni.

Six attackers were today felicitated by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his Bandra residence 'Matoshree' where he "patted" them for their work.

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