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Congress slams Sena

Anita Joshua

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday assailed the Shiv Sena for criticising cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s “Mumbai for all” remark while the Sena’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, found nothing wrong whatsoever in what the master batsman had said.

Condemning Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s criticism of Tendulkar’s remark, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said: “This reaction to Sachin Tendulkar’s assertion of his Indianness is completely unwarranted.”

Making a suo motu statement, the spokesman sought to clarify that normally the party would not have dignified Mr. Thackeray’s observations with a reaction as they were “not worth the paper they are written on.”

However, the Congress chose to respond in view of the long-term implications of the kind of observations made in Saamna against Tendulkar.

“This is not the language which an emerging world power speaks. Though it is not our business to advise political parties on how to run their affairs but if they concentrate on national issues they would be able to play the role of a good constructive opposition,” Mr. Tiwari said.

Also, according to the Congress, the parties which base their politics on narrow issues of caste and religion insult the very idea of India. Accusing parties like the Sena of raising identity issues for narrow political mileage, Mr. Tiwari said such attacks on India’s diverse and plural character had been rejected time and again by the people.

Sachin correct: Jaitley

PTI reports:

In a veiled attack on its alliance partner Shiv Sena, the BJP on Monday supported cricketer Tendulkar’s ‘Mumbai for all’ remark, saying nobody could object to his stand.

“Sachin is fully correct. I don’t think anybody can have objection to it ... India is proud of him and he is proud of being an Indian,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told journalists here.

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