MUMBAI: Accusing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of "insulting" Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NDA-ally Shiv Sena on Friday "prayed" for his defeat in the upcoming assembly by-poll which he is contesting.
It also took strong umbrage at Parrikar's reported statement that he "cared less" if he loses the August 23 by-poll in Panaji assembly constituency, for he would return to the Centre and head the Defence Ministry.
"The Prime Minister elevated Parrikar from Goa Chief Minister to the Defence Ministry, after he failed there miserably, he again returned to the state. Now, he goes around threatening that if he indeed fails to win the by-polls, he will go back to the Centre as Defence Minister," the Shiv Sena said in a sharp editorial in party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
This, the Sena pointed out, was tantamount to not only "rubbishing" the post of Goa Chief Minister but also belittling the post of the country's Defence Minister.
"By such irresponsible and juvenile utterances, Parrikar has insulted Modi, who first promoted him to national politics, and later entrusted him with Goa's leadership after the BJP failed to secure a majority in last year's assembly elections in the state," the Sena said.
The edit added that Parrikar's remarks clearly proved that he was "mortally scared" of the prospect of losing the by-election.
But, Parrikar "has already lost his bearings" by taking the wise voters "so lightly and treating the state as his personal fiefdom with little faith in the democratic process", the Sena said.
"Is the post of Defence Minister so cheap and rendered as orphan without Parrikar? Modi must clarify, especially given the current tense situation on our country's borders," the Sena demanded.
On one hand, while Modi is worried about tackling the challenges from both Pakistan and China, on the other, Parrikar is blatantly trying to degrade and undermine the Defence Ministry by his statements, the editorial said.
"In such circumstances, Parrikar must lose the Goa assembly by-polls. Let his worst fears come true. And after the loss, whether he still becomes the Defence Minister, at least let the people of his state witness (this)," the Sena noted sternly.
The edit said if Parrikar was indeed a "mahatma" as was being bandied about, he should have been elected unopposed, but the truth is when the country faced crises at the borders, instead of leading the nation, he retreated back to Goa for savouring "rice-and-fish-curry".
"For this act of bravado alone, he should have been conferred a 'Shaurya Chakra', but he was made the Chief Minister of a rag-tag outfit though the state poll was lost under his leadership," it concluded.