MUMBAI: Shiv Sena, which had fired bitter salvos at Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party during the election campaign in Maharashtra, praised the Prime Minister on Tuesday saying he had changed the cultural face of India after coming to power.
"Prime Minister Modi has changed the cultural face of India after coming to power. This is commendable. Until yesterday only Iftar parties were being held by leaders during the Eid festival, today Diwali is being celebrated as well. This is an important change," the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"The Congress used to celebrate Eid as if it was a national festival. That was less of love for the Muslims and more of vote bank and appeasement politics. The era of vote bank politics has ended now and Modi will change the face of the culture of this country," it said.
Sena also praised Modi's new schemes for the development of the poor.
The editorial came came a day after it openly extended its support to the BJP-led coalition government in the state.
After the 25-year-old coalition came to an end over the seat sharing issues before the assembly polls, Shiv Sena had made scathing attacks on the BJP on various occassions.
In an editorial, Sena had termed BJP as "hungry for power" and accused it of indulging in caste-based politics and regionalism.
Meanwhile, the back channel talks are on between the two parties to form the government.
Senior Sena leader and spokesman Sanjay Raut had said on Monday that a BJP-Sena dispensation will be a "stable" one.
"If Shiv Sena and BJP come together to form a government it will be stable. Our ties with BJP are very old. Whatever happened during the election we have forgotten.
Ours is not like an India-Pakistan fight.
"The people have given mandate to BJP. It has got more seats. It is our duty (to lend support to BJP). Sena's support will always be there for a Chief Minister who works in the interest of Maharashtra," he had said.
BJP won 122 seats in the 288-member Assembly. Govind Rathod, who was elected from Mukhed in Nanded, passed away on Sunday, reducing the strength to 121.
(With inputs from PTI)