The Shiv Sena reacted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s condemnation of dynasty politics on Monday by asserting that the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was no different from family-run political organisations and describing the rules of Central government as ‘autocratic’.
The Congress party was also supported in an editorial in the Sena publication Saamana, which stated that it believed in democratic ideals.
PM Modi remarked in his speech on Constitution Day, November 26, that political parties managed by families for generations were not beneficial for a healthy democracy. ‘How can the parties which have lost their democratic character protect democracy?,’ he inquired and stated that dynastic politics could be witnessed throughout the country, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
While supporting the Congress, which is thought to be the main focus of Modi’s onslaught on political dynasties, Shiv Sena publication Saamana launched a counter-attack. ‘The biggest threat to democracy is… to come to power democratically and rule in an autocratic manner. Congress party believes in democratic values. Yes, there can be political differences with the Congress, but it has not sold the pillars of democracy’, the editorial said.
The editorial went on to say that the PM’s attack on the Congress party, which had declined significantly over the previous decade, indicated that he worried the party may become a national alternative to the BJP. It went on to claim that the PM’s criticism of the Congress party, which had seen its popularity plummet over the past decade, showed that he was concerned that the party may become a national alternative to the BJP.
‘BJP is not a family party, but in the past few years, it has become a dictatorship of one particular group. After Mr Modi became the Prime Minister, a leader from Gujarat was made the party chief. This arrangement was made so that the reins of the party and power remain in his hand. Congress’ reins in the hands of Gandhi family is akin to BJP’s reins in the hands of people who are under the Prime Minister’s thumb’, the editorial stated.
The Maharashtra branch of the BJP has a policy of not responding to criticism or comments expressed in Saamana editorials.