MUMBAI: With the monsoon session of Parliament beginning from Monday, the Shiv Sena asked whether the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will discuss seriously important issues like Chinese aggression along the LAC, COVID-19 and unemployment.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena said COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in states with no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, while China has adopted aggressive posturing along the LAC.
Also, Pakistanis are openly conducting surgical strikes in Kashmir, said the Sena publication on Monday.
The countrys economy is in doldrums and crores of people have lost jobs due to demonetisation in 2016 and now the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, the former BJP ally said.
"Will there be a serious discussion on these issues in both the Houses (of Parliament)?" asked the editorial.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit, an opposition party in Parliament, claimed that to hide issues concerning the countrys security and peoples livelihood, non-issues are being highlighted.
"This is treachery with the people. All this is being done to divert attention from the China issue. The cyber legions of the ruling party are creating such an atmosphere that price rise and unemployment are not the issues, but the ones from by-lanes (non-issues) are," it said in an attack on the BJP.
Mumbai has deliberately been chosen to take forward this "great work" (of highlighting non-issues), the Sena said, referring to the assault on retired Navy officer Madan Sharma.
It condemned the assault on Sharma, but asked what did he achieve by circulating an objectionable cartoon on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"Werent you taught while you were in naval service to respect those occupying constitutional posts? the Sena asked Sharma.
The Marathi daily said it was surprising that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the retired officer over the phone after the incident last week.
The revenge for killings of 20 Indian soldiers (by Chinese troops) has not yet been taken and China is still being imperious, it said, adding the BJP protested following the assault on the retired Navy officer, who has demanded resignation of Thackeray.
He should have demanded the resignations of President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister "who are responsible for the killings of 20 soldiers," the Shiv Sena said.
It sarcastically said given the kind of frivolous things going on in the country at present, it will definitely secure gold in the childs play category (if there is created any) at the Olympics.
The Sena alleged that supporters of BJPs Jalgaon MP Unmesh Patil had in the past attacked an ex-serviceman, but the NDA lead constituent had not taken to streets then.
It recalled that the son of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched by a mob in Uttar Pradeshs Dadri five years ago, is also serving in security forces.
The Sena also referred to retired Army captain Amanullah (64), who was beaten to death in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year, and said there was no word on the prime minister or defence minister calling up the deceased's wife.
"Because all these uncalled-for activities are reserved for Maharashtra only", the Shiv Sena alleged.
Without naming actress Kangana Ranaut, the party said anger was expressed when she insulted Mumbai and its police.
"But that (expression of anger) was treated as threat and she was accorded Y-plus security by Himachal Pradesh and central governments...what promptness! the Shiv Sena quipped.
Ranaut had likened Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and said she feared the city police more than an alleged movie mafia.
Latching on to media reports about gang-rape of a married woman in Himachal Pradeshs Kangra, the Shiv Sena asked why that the hill state's Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur or Union Home Minister Amit Shah did not provide Z category protection to the victim.
"This needs to be thought about at the national level seriously," it said.