Mumbai, Jan 4: Shiv Sena on Thursday attacked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, for caste-based violence across the state following Dalit-Maratha clashes during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune. In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena said BJP should come out of election mode and protect the state from riots.

Shiv Sena blamed police department politics and BJP for violence in Maharashtra following Bhima Koregaon clashes. “The state is suffering because of the politics of the state police department and the BJP-led central government, which controls the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said an editorial in Saamana. “Winning election with the help of government and police has become the only motive of the BJP,” it said.

The editorial further questioned the capability of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis government, which is “not able to control the ongoing chaos in the state”. “There is nothing new in ordering inquiry in such matter, everyone does that. What new the Maharashtra government has done to tackle the issue. People from other states are coming in Maharashtra and carrying out such activities,” it stated.

It further accused the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh president and the grandson of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar, of inciting the violence and averred that the latter should make an effort to bring back peace and normalcy in the state, rather than fanning the flames. Saamana advised Ambedkar to not use the violence to fulfill his political agenda and said that a true leader is the one “who gives direction to the crowd and not the one who instigates the violence.”

“The government should come out of election mode and work on the ground. You have entire life to fight Shiv Sena. Instead of wasting energy in fighting Shiv Sena, better take on enemies of Maharashtra,” the editorial in the Marathi daily said. “The state is set on fire and it will turn you into ashes as well,” it said.

Shiv Sena on Wednesday alleged that someone is trying to gain political advantage by creating all such nuisance across the state. Speaking to ANI, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “There is a 200 years old history but there should be no riots in the name of history. When that war took place all castes and communities were united and fought their enemy together but today we are fighting over castes and communities and celebrating Shaurya Diwas. This is absolutely wrong. There is someone who wants to take political advantage of this situation but the person will be soon exposed.”

Sporadic incidents of violence paralysed parts of Maharashtra in a day-long state-wide shutdown called by various Dalit parties on Wednesday amid tight security. Dalit activists jumped on railway tracks, shouting slogans and waved flags to attempt rail-blockades at various stations in Thane and Palghar districts, but were prevented by the security forces.

The shutdown was a fallout of Monday’s riots in Koregaon-Bhima, Pune district, during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Anglo-Maratha War of January 1, 1818. Members of the Dalit community had gathered around the Victory Pillar erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when stone pelting started leading to the death of 28-year-old Rahul Fatangale.