Shinde targets Sena (UBT) by citing campaigning for its candidate by bomb blasts accused

Mumbai, May 14 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday hit out at rival Shiv Sena (UBT), saying their brand of Hindutva and nationalism means drafting 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts accused Iqbal Musa alias Baba Chauhan to campaign for them in the Lok Sabha polls.

Shinde also claimed the Shiv Sena headed by him will win all the 15 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting in Maharashtra, which sends 48 members to the Lower House of Parliament.

Speaking at a conclave organised by Marathi news channel ABP Majha a week ahead of the fifth and last phase of polling in Maharashtra, the CM maintained there were no differences within the Mahayuti alliance, consisting of the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the NCP led by Ajit Pawar, over sharing Lok Sabha seats for contest among allies.

Of the 48 parliamentary seats in the state, the BJP is contesting on 28, the Shiv Sena on 15, the NCP on four and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha on one.

“A 1993 bomb blasts accused was campaigning for one of their (Shiv Sena-UBT) candidates. This is their Hindutva and nationalism. The one who killed scores of people and was behind blast, and they made a discovery that (then-Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant) Karkare did not die of (26/11 terrorist Ajmal) Kasab’s bullets,” Shinde said.

With regards to the 1993 blasts accused, Shinde was referring to the BJP’s allegations that Iqbal Musa alias Baba Chauhan was seen in a campaign rally of Shiv Sena (UBT) Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat candidate Amol Kirtikar.

The allegations were denied by Musa as well as Kirtikar, both of whom claimed they did not know each other.

Congressman Vijay Wadettiwar, the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, had claimed 26/11 prosecution lawyer and BJP candidate from Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha seat, Ujjwal Nikam, hid the information that Karkare wasn’t killed by Kasab, but fell to a bullet fired by a policeman linked to the RSS.