Shiv Sena blames BJP for crime in Mumbai again, puts foot in mouth
The party never misses an opportunity to vent its anger and lash out - possibly arising from the hurt it has been nurturing over the fact that the BJP won more seats than it in the last state assembly elections.
The latest salvo
The latest criticism comes from Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who on 1 September, claimed that the criminals in the city are not afraid of the law because the Shiv Sena doesn't hold the home ministry portfolio in Maharashtra.
Raut also demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hand it over to Shiv Sena as it knows how to keep criminals under control.
However, Raut forgot that the Shiv Sena holds the charge of minister of state for home and with it, can very well keep the criminal and anti-social activities in the city and state under control.
The reason for this recent criticism is the death of Mumbai traffic police head constable Vilas Shinde.
Last week, Shinde was assaulted by two youths while on duty at Bandra after he asked for the driving license and documents from a minor who was riding a motorcycle without a helmet on in Bandra.
The boy called his elder brother Ahmad Mohammed Qureshi to the spot. When Ahmed arrived, he began an altercation with Shinde and assaulted him with a rod.
Shinde sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to Lilavati Hospital immediately, but he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday while being treated in the ICU.
Though Ahmad Qureshi and his brother fled the scene, he was arrested within a few hours.
Political tug of war
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray tried to gain political mileage out of the incident by invoking the 'Marathi Manoos' angle.
This left the Shiv Sena with no option but to speak out as well.
But in the bid to outsmart MNS, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut caused embarrassment for his party. Talking to media about the incident, Raut said, "The state must have a full time home minister. The criminals will be terrorised if the portfolio is given to Shiv Sena."
Interestingly, Shiv Sena holds the MoS Home, which can be effectively used to control criminals in a desired manner. Reacting to the statement, a senior BJP leader who did not wish to be named, said, "We have stopped reacting to childish statements. It is better to ignore the statement."
Social media is abuzz with anger after the death of Shinde. Around 50 women - wives of policemen - gheraoed CM Fadnavis when he went to meet Shinde's family at Worli police colony after the death. They blocked Fadnavis' path demanding justice to Shinde. He tried to pacify them by assuring a speedy inquiry and strict punishment to the accused, and compensation and a government job to the family.
But the women refused to accept the platitudes and are still looking to get a promise of more stringent rules that empower the police for their safety.