Why after calling Manmohan Singh a hijra, Shiv Sena is hailing him today

Demonetisation may not dig out all the black money in the system, but it has certainly dug furrows in existing political alignments.

 |  2-minute read |   25-11-2016
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The Shiv Sena is the oldest ally of the BJP and part of the Modi government at the Centre as well as the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra. Yet, from the day the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced, it has unequivocally criticised the move. The Shiv Sena even went so far as to join Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee's march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 16.

When former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the demonetisation of high-value currency notes as a "monumental mismanagement" by the Narendra Modi government and remarked that the GDP of the country could shrink by two percentage-points due to the way it has been implemented, one of the first to praise the former prime minister was Uddhav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena asked the BJP to take seriously the former PM’s words as it came from a “renowned economist”. Suddenly, former PM Manmohan Singh became a hero for the Shiv Sena.

uddhav-thackeray-pti_112516033420.jpg Now, the politically impotent eunuch has turned a hero for the Shiv Sena. Credit: PTI

It is ironic that in 2009, at a rally in Pune, the same Uddhav Thackeray had called the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh "hijra (eunuch)". In 2012, after Time magazine labelled then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an "under achiever", Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray too had termed him "politically impotent". But now, the politically impotent eunuch has turned a hero for the Shiv Sena. This seems to be another major impact of Narendra Modi's demonetisation exercise, dubbed as a surgical strike on black money by his supporters.

In contrast to what the BJP ally is doing, the Congress' alliance partner, Bihar chief minister is full of praise for Narendra Modi on the same demonetisation move. Days after the November 8 announcement, Nitish Kumar praised Modi's decision and extended full support to him. He said, "Prime Minister Modi is now riding a tiger which could damage his alliances, but there's great sentiment in favour of his move and we should respect that."

Nitish Kumar, known for his aversion to Modi, went against the views of his opposition partners to support him on demonetisation. In 2013, Nitish Kumar had called Narendra Modi an expert in "jhooth ki kheti (cultivation of falsehood)". He also compared Narendra Modi to Hitler and said his desperate dream to unfurl the national flag at Red Fort would remain unfulfilled. But today, the same Nitish Kumar has broken ranks with his allies to support the very same Hitler in Modi's garb.

Demonetisation has unleashed mass destabilisation and while Parliament remains stalled and the daily search for ATMs dispensing cash continues, a sharp incision in the polity seems to be an unexpected fallout of Modi's latest surgical strike.

Demonetisation may or may not dig out all the black money in the system, but it has certainly dug furrows in existing political alignments.

Writer

Ashok Upadhyay Ashok Upadhyay @ashoupadhyay

Editor, India Today Television.

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