Mumbai, August 16: The Shiv Sena termed Thursday Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech “fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes” and slammed him for the depreciating rupee.
It claimed that while Modi emphasised on his government’s development credentials, he overlooked the slide in the Indian rupee, which has hit an all-time low against the US dollar. On August 14, the rupee breached the historic low of 70-mark against the US dollar before recovering at close on possible RBI intervention.
In this context, the Sena questioned the BJP’s claims of development during the last four years of its rule. “The prime minister’s speech consists of fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes and the Red Fort is used for the purpose,” it said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“The prime minister says development had ceased during the Congress rule. However, the rupee has touched a historical low today. When a dollar equals to Rs 70, it is not a sign of a good economy and development,” the Sena said.
The editorial noted that while in opposition, the BJP used to attack the UPA government for the depreciating rupee and pin the blame on corrupt politics and financial scams, and asked whether the reasons for the currency’s slide in the last four years were any different from those during the previous rule.
It also questioned Modi’s assertion that India will be a “superpower”, at a time when its currency is falling. “The prime minister cites an international agency as stating that five crore Indians have been lifted from below the poverty line. The PM should name this organisation and reveal from where those five crore Indians were found,” Saamana said.
Noting that Modi wore a “saffron” turban while delivering his Independence Day speech yesterday, the Sena claimed this was a bid to reach out to voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as a Hindu.
“However, will wearing the saffron turban solve questions of Hindutva?” asked the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra. It sought to know the fate of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uniform Civil Code, Article 370 and Kashmiri Pandits.
Farmers are committing suicide and almost all castes have come out on streets, demanding reservation for being backward, the Sena said and taunted that instead of abolishing caste system, the prime minister reiterated that caste-based reservations will stay. The Sena claimed that Modi, in his previous speeches from the Red Fort, had said the Indian Army may intervene in the trouble-hit in Gilgit-Baltistan areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.