Sena attacks BJP, backs Mumbai Police chief

Asks the BJP why it had not supported Mr. Maria; dismisses Prithviraj Chavan's comments as "unimportant".

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:58 pm IST

Published - June 24, 2015 12:30 pm IST - Pune

File photo of Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria.

File photo of Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria.

In yet another attempt to embarrass its ally, the Shiv Sena came out in strong support of Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria in the Lalit Modi row while castigating the Bharatiya Janata Party for not doing the same.

An editorial in the Sena’s party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ lambasted the BJP for not supporting Mr. Maria in the same way just as it >lent support to top leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje when their names cropped up in helping the Indian Premier League’s fallen czar Lalit Modi.

Both the BJP leaders were in the eye of the storm after they were alleged to have aided Mr. Modi with travel documents in London and an immigration plea in a London court.

“Any aspersions cast on Mr. Maria’s integrity will be like a storm in a teacup. When the BJP can loudly back Swaraj and Raje in the face of the opposition’s clamour for their resignations, why can’t it support a brave officer like Mr. Maria,” asked the editorial.

Mr. Maria’s name figured in the murky affair after the Mumbai Police Commissioner admitted to have visited Mr. Lalit Modi, at the insistence of the latter’s lawyer. Mr. Maria’s admission came after television channels flashed a photo of him meeting the former IPL commissioner.

During the brief meeting, Mr. Lalit Modi had allegedly sought the Mumbai Police’s help in view of a ‘threat’ to his life in London. According to Mr. Maria, he had duly apprised the then Home Minister of the meeting on his return.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan further added fuel to the fire by recently >claiming he was neither aware nor apprised of Mr. Maria’s meeting with Mr. Modi in London.

Lavishing praises on Mr. Maria, the Sena, in its editorial credited the Commissioner as the man responsible for preventing Mumbai becoming a soft target for terrorists and commended him for breaking the underworld’s stranglehold over the city.

It lauded the Commissioner’s role during the probe into the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai.

Dismissing Mr. Chavan’s comments as “unimportant”, the Sena said that it really did not matter as there were numerous murky affairs of which Mr. Chavan was in the dark.

“Mr. Maria has stated he had briefed the then Home Minister and that is enough,” said the editorial, censuring the BJP for not doing enough for the Mumbai Police chief.

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