Afzal Khan to Sardar: quite a transition for Shiv Sena

Afzal Khan to Sardar: quite a transition for Shiv Sena

When the Shiv Sena and BJP parted ways after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to contest the Maharashtra Assembly elections, Shah had become a favourite punching bag for the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena.

From 'Afzal Khan ki aulad' (progeny of Afzal Khan) to a 'mirror image of Sardar Patel', it was quite a transition for the Shiv Sena when it came to describing BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah.

When the Shiv Sena and BJP parted ways after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls to contest the Maharashtra Assembly elections, Shah had become a favourite punching bag for the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena.

During campaigning for the Maharashtra Assembly polls in 2014, Shiv Sena leaders had thrown barbs at Amit Shah, equating him with Adil Shah and Qutub Shah of the erstwhile Bijapur and Golcanda Sultanates respectively.

“After Adil Shah and Qutub Shah, who is this Shah,” read Shiv Sena posters in 2014, taking a dig at the BJP campaign. Thackeray had also termed the BJP leaders as 'Afzal Khan Ki Aulad', referring to the high-ranking general of the Bijapur Sultanate, who was killed by Chhatrapati Shivaji in the 17th Century.

Shiv Sena later joined the BJP government in Maharashtra, but its testy relationship with the BJP continued till recently. However, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena appears to have accepted the reality of a more powerful BJP.

It became all the more evident when a Shiv Sena member said that they now see a mirror image of Sardar Patel in Amit Shah.

Lauding the strong stand taken by Shah on Kashmir, Shiv Sena member Rahul Shewale, participating in the discussion in the Lok Sabha on Friday, showered plaudits on Shah.

“Amit Shah is the first Home Minister from the BJP ranks from Gujarat in the post-Independence era, and we see a likeness of Sardar Patel in him,” Shewale said.

The Shiv Sena member also hoped that the unfinished task of Patel – the resolution of the Kashmir issue – would be completed during Shah's tenure in the Home Ministry.

Shewale reiterated the Shiv Sena stand for repealing of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Shah, responding to the discussion in the Lok Sabha, had said Article 370 was temporary in nature and not permanent.

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