Mumbai: The war of words between the BJP and Shiv Sena - two alliance partners in Maharashtra, intensified Wednesday with the former accusing the latter of indulging in the politics of opportunism and 'convenient nationalism'.
To the Shiv Sena's sarcastic advice that the government should honour the Pakistani terrorists as 'peace doves', the BJP reminded its ally of the visit made by Javed Miandad to Matoshree and the party's support to Sanjay Dutt.
"What kind of nationalism was displayed while backing 1993 blastss accused Sanjay Dutt.
"Those casting aspersions on our patriotism should do well to remember who hosted Javed Miandad at Matoshree -Thackeray family residence in Mumbai", BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar is quoted by the PTI.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday while expressing regret over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's criticism of the Dadri lynching and the cancelled Ghulam Ali concert, raked up the 2002 Gujarat riots to target Modi.
"If our prime minister has indeed said this, then it is very unfortunate and disappointing. He (Modi) is known all over the world for the Godhra and Ahmedabad (killings of 2002). If it is the same Modi saying this, it is very sad," Raut said here.
The executive editor of "Saamana", the Sena mouthpiece, said: "We respect him because of (the 2002 violence). But if he has made such statements on (former Pakistan foreign minister) K.M. Kasuri and the Ghulam Ali show cancellation (in Mumbai), it is unfortunate."
In yet another attack on the BJP, the Shiv Sena in an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana Thursday "assured" that people of the state have no cause for worry as a new "Pakistan-loving ambassador of peace" has taken over responsibility to protect the nation from them, referring to its latest bete-noir, Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of think-tank, Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
"Since every person who arrives here from Pakistan is 'a messenger of peace', these three terrorists must also be treated similarly. We lay out the red carpet for them and accord them highest security," the Sena sarcastically demanded.
The BJP hit back by saying that the Shiv Sena outcry is indulding in such politics keeping in mind the upcoming civic polls.
"Sena is indulging in 'selfish patriotism' keeping the upcoming municipal elections in mind", Shelar said.
"Public understands the Shiv Sena leaders' politics of opportunism and convenient nationalism. They will give them a befitting reply for their duplicity very soon", he added.