MUMBAI: Shiv Sena today accused the BJP of "betraying" its late Palghar MP Chintaman Wanga by turning its back on his family and fielding Congress deserter for the Lok Sabha seat bypoll.
The bickering ally claimed the BJP did not to bother to take care of Wanga's family and that none of its central leaders turned up to pay last respects to the parliamentarian after his death in New Delhi in January this year.
The remarks came two days after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Shiv Sena of betraying the BJP by fielding Wanga's son for the Palghar bypoll.
He had claimed the Sena knew that the BJP was already planning to nominate someone from Wanga's family for the by-election, scheduled on May 28.
Taking potshots at the senior alliance partner for fielding Rajendra Gavit, who recently left the Congress to join the saffron party, the Sena said, "It seems the BJP has democratically won the right to buy and flee with legislators, as was evident in Karnataka."
Similarly, the BJP seems to have the right to make comments (on the Sena), as it is doing so in the Palghar bypolls, said an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
The Sena claimed that after Wanga's death, nobody from the BJP visited his family, and even the chief minister and the BJP leaders turned their back on him.
The BJP's office was at a distance of just five minutes from Wanga's residence where he died in Delhi, it claimed, adding that "the party's president, Amit Shah, lives three minutes away."
"Even other BJP leaders live nearby. But, nobody went to pay their last respects," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
The price of Wanga's loyalty ended with his death and his family members were left to fend for themselves and insulted by the BJP, it charged.
"Nobody from the BJP came ahead to take care of the family. This is like betraying him," the Marathi daily said. Wanga's earnings were "only his Hindutva thoughts".
However, insulting him after his death and openly saying that a party-changer like Rajendra Gavit was the heir to his legacy, was like "betraying" the late leader, it further said.
Fadnavis had earlier said that hard work is needed to carry on the legacy of the late leader and hence the BJP gave ticket to Gavit.
Taunting the BJP, the Sena said even for the gram panchayat elections, the party brings its central ministers and chief ministers of states ruled by it (for campaigning).
"The BJP is behaving as if all of Maharashtra's questions have been solved and that the only one remaining is the Palghar election," it said.