Statement comes as war of words continues between parties over Kasuri’s book launch event
As a war of words continues between India’s right-wing Shiv Sena and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the latter questioned on Thursday Bal Thackarey’s motives for hosting Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad at his residence.
“Those casting aspersions on our patriotism should do well to remember who hosted Javed Miandad at Matoshree (the Thackeray family residence in suburban Bandra),” said BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar, according to NDTV.
“The public understands this politics of opportunism, of convenient nationalism,” he said.
Read: Shiv Sena activists attack Kasuri’s book launch organiser
BJP also questioned Shiv Sena’s support for Indian actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
“What sort of nationalism was displayed while backing 1993 blasts accused actor Sanjay Dutt,” said BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar, alluding to late Bal Thackeray’s support to the actor.
“Those who want to teach nationalism and patriotism to our Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should remember that the national tricolour was not unfurled atop their party office. When he was young, Fadnavis dared to unfurl the tricolour in Srinagar. Those sitting and writing in air-conditioned cabins should not indulge in teaching Fadnavis,” said Shelar, in a veiled attack on Sena MP and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut, who have been most vocal in attacking the BJP over the visit of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.
Read: After Ghulam Ali, Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Mekaal Hasan Band’s concert
“Shiv Sena should not teach patriotism to BJP. Our leaders have struggled for Kashmir,” he said.
Shelar also questioned Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s attendance at Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s musical concert.
The debate was unfurled after Shiv Sena activists blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former BJP strategist and organiser of Kasuri’s book launch event on Monday.
Fadnavis had voiced serious disapproval over the incident and said the state would not be allowed to be reduced to a “banana republic”.
Read: India arrests six Shiv Sena activists for attacking Kasuri book launch organiser
Fadvanis’s condemnation of the incident and heightened security at the function where Kasuri’s book was launched had drawn strong reactions from Raut who said the Chief Minister ‘doesn’t understand Maharashtra and is insulting the martyrs’. Sena had also threatened to disrupt the event.
This article originally appeared on NDTV.