Don't worry about Maharashtra, Shiv Sena tells Narendra Modi
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In its first response to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's massive rally in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena said the BJP's prime ministerial candidate should not worry about the state as the Shiv Sena was there to take care of it. It said the growth rate of Gujarat might have increased under Modi rule, but Maharashtra was still ahead in development.
"The battle cry that Narendra Modi has voiced against the Congress is actually an expression of the frustration and helplessness of the citizens... He should, however, not be worried about Maharashtra. Here, Shiv Sena is present and it is carrying the saffron flag of Shivaji on its shoulders," said an editorial that appeared in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
In his hour-long speech at the Sunday rally, in which no Sena leader was invited, Modi had castigated the governance in Maharashtra. He had repeatedly spoken about how Gujarat was ahead of Maharashtra not only in governance but also in terms of development, though both became separate states in 1960. He had also pointed out that while Maharashtra had seen 26 chief ministers since 1960, Gujarat elected only 14 CMs during the period.
"There has been criticism of Modi that he should speak only about Gujarat and not of Maharashtra. It has been 10-12 years since Modi has been running the administration of Gujarat. In this period, Gujarat's growth rate may have increased. However, Maharashtra is still ahead in development. However, it is equally true that Congressmen who have ruled the state have destroyed this development," the editorial read.
Referring to Modi's rally in Mumbai, the Sena said: "The Gujarati community and 'Hindutvavadi' masses were enthusiastic because Modi was coming to Mumbai."
"In order to make this rally a huge success, a lot of advertisements full of creativity claiming that Modi is going to make 'maha-garjana' were seen everywhere in the financial capital... Modi said 'Mumbai is second home to Gujaratis.' There are indeed a lot of Gujaratis in Mumbai, they do business and a big chunk of what they earn here goes into the development of Saurashtra, Kutch and Surat," said the write-up.