Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s party Shiv Sena has taken a dig at the BJP over the induction of Jitin Prasada, saying the young leader was “useless for Congress and will remain so for the saffron party too.”
In a strongly worded editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said it was ‘hilarious’ to note that the BJP is celebrating the induction of Jitin Prasada. Maharashtra’s ruling party described Prasada as a young leader, but said that he was of “no use to the Congress and will remain so to the BJP.”
“Jitin Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin pilot were young leaders and there were high expectations from them. There is already a vacuum in Congress after the death of Ahmed Patel and Rajeev Satav. It is not good that young leaders are going the BJP way,” the Saamana editorial said.
The Saamana editorial went on to say that “Prasada, who had faced defeat in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, has finally joined the BJP. Prasada’s family members were Congress loyalists. He was a minister in former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. However, he kept losing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has now started celebrating his induction into the party fold.’’
वाचा दै. सामनाचा आजचा अग्रलेखhttps://t.co/vlImeibjPt
— Saamana (@SaamanaOnline) June 11, 2021
Shiv Sena pointed out that “the caste politics of Uttar Pradesh is behind it.’’ “Eye on UP’s Brahmin vote bank is being said to be behind Prasada’s induction into the BJP. But if Prasada had a hold over the Brahmin votes, why these votes weren’t transferred to Congress?” the party questioned.
Shiv Sena also cautioned that the BJP is worried at the moment because its traditional upper caste vote is drifting away from the party. “Till now, the BJP did not require any arithmetic or face in UP. Narendra Modi was everything. Ram Mandir or Hindutva were enough to win votes. But now, the situation is so bad that it wants the support of Jitin Prasada?’’ it said sarcastically.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party said the important issue is why are the Congress leaders jumping ship. Talking about the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia to the BJP and the rebellion of Sachin Pilot, the Shiv Sena said that in Punjab, too, there is a rebellion in the Congress. It, however, said that rebellion and factionalism are not restricted to Congress alone.
Shiv Sena also gave a piece of advice to Rahul Gandhi, saying that the Congress central leadership needs to create a strong team to revive the party. “The Congress has done a lot of work in the pre-Independence era and even after that. Congress has a contribution to building the nation. Even today, the ‘Nehru-Gandhi’ identity of the country cannot be obliterated. The Congress has a stronghold at the grass-root level,” it said.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has ably carried out her responsibility in the party. Now, Rahul Gandhi has to create a strong team, which will be the answer to the challenge before the party,” the Shiv Sena mouthpiece added.
In a shot in the arm for the BJP, Prasada, a Congress leader joined the saffron party on Wednesday, months ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled for early next year. The 47-year former Union minister comes from a well-known Brahmin family of UP.