BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has once again attacked the Modi government, for supporting Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje, in the Lalit Modi controversy, and asked why the government was not backing the Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria the same way. In its editorial mouth piece, Saamana, Shiv Sena backed Mumbai Police Chief Rakesh Maria and accused Modi government of making him a scapegoat in the Lalit Modi scandal.
The pictures of Lalit Modi meeting with Mumbai Police Chief Rakesh Maria were intentionally shown on TV channels to divert the entire issue. “A condemnable attempt is being made to put the dynamic Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria in the dock. If an official is trapped without even looking into the probe, then it won’t bode well for the state,” the editorial read. The editorial also says that Maria can’t be expected to handcuff Modi and drag him back to India, as he doesn’t have the jurisdiction to do so.
The Sena said, casting aspersions on Maria would mean “making a mountain out of a molehill”. “What Lalit Modi has done with IPL may be an issue of contention but the Mumbai Police Commissioner has no right to handcuff him and bring him back here or to Delhi when he is living in London with the permission of authorities.”
“Being the king of IPL, he must have got clicked with many political leaders as well. Does this mean action will be taken against all those leaders?” Sena said in the editorial.
Sena also questioned that if the government has backed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, after their names emerged in the Lalit Modi row, why is it not supporting Maria.
Maria has submitted a report to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, explaining the reason for his meeting with Lalit Modi in London, in 2014. He has claimed that Modi’s lawyer had approached him citing threats to Lalit Modi’s life.
Slamming former Maharashtra Chief Minister, the Sena said, “Prithviraj’s comments had no importance then and have no importance now as there were two parallel governments running when Congress and NCP were in power. If Maria informed the then Home minister and not Chavan, it did not really matter as there were many other shady affairs happening then about which Chavan was informed.”
Heaping praises on Maria, Sena said he is the man behind not letting the city become a soft target for terrorists and that he should be credited for ending gang wars and hooliganism, in Mumbai.
It also credited Maria for his role during the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai and in the investigations. “Looking at all these, if aspersions are still cast on Maria’s meet with Modi, it will mean making a mountain out of a molehill. The BJP has made it clear that it stands firmly behind Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje and that they will continue to remain on their posts. Then, why not the same justice for a brave officer like Maria,” Sena said.
“All sins are forgiven in politics. And officials,without proper inquiry are made scapegoats which adversely affects the state. We can only say the more one digs in the Lalit Modi issue, the bigger it will get,” it added
Maharashtra Police sources also claim that Maria had written to the anti-extortion cell soon after he returned from London. The Anti-extortion cell also inquired about the underworld threats allegedly received by Lalit Modi.