The Shiv Sena Tuesday lauded the unity of opposition parties and the spontaneous public support that led to the success of the nationwide shutdown against the rise in fuel prices and said a similar spirit had been seen during the post-Emergency days.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, the Sena said similar opposition unity during the post-Emergency days had thrown out the then prime minister Indira Gandhi from power.
“If the opposition parties once again unite to challenge the Congress, then even Sonia Gandhi will fall like a withered leaf. This is the message and warning of yesterday’s all-India shutdown,” the editorial pointed out, a day after the ‘Bharat bandh’ called by the National Democratic Alliance as well as the Left parties.
However, it rued that though the people had given the reins of the country to the opposition parties, they lost power.
“But if Indira Gandhi could be thrown out of power, than what it Sonia Gandhi,” it asked.
It criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for using what it termed the power of the ‘gun’ (’band—dook’) to break the strike (’bandh’). But, it said, the administration failed miserably to prevent the public expression of its angst against price hike.
“People are not demanding a share in your earning, only asking for foodstuffs at a reasonable rate. If the valid demands for ‘roti, kapda, makan, shiksha’ (food, shelter, clothing and education) are a crime by the people, then shoot them,” the editorial said.
Instead of appreciating the people for their spontaneous protest in the form yesterday’s strike, the editorial said that Mr. Chavan and his ministers were sitting and killing flies in Mantralaya on Monday.