Shiv Sena set on fire Nawaz’s effigy

Hardliners protest against invitation to Pakistan’s prime minister

MUMBAI – A number of Shiv Sena workers demonstrated against the invitation sent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the searing in ceremony of India’s new prime minister-designate Narendra Modi on Monday in New Delhi.

The protest, which was led by Shiv Sena leader Ashok Gupta, who has voiced his discontent with the invitation sent to the prime minister of Pakistan. It has been reported that an effigy of Nawaz Sharif was also set on fire. This is not the first criticism that has come the BJP's way for the invite.

Modi's invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz received flack from some other leaders of the opposition, some even calling the move hypocritical. However, invitations have been sent to about 3000 leaders including those of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Earlier, an Indian newspaper reported that the Shiv Sena, which does not shy away from taking an aggressive stand against Pakistan, ‘preferred’ not to comment on Modi’s invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz to attend his swearing-in ceremony. “No comments,” said Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut.

The Shiv Sena, which hopes to get ministerial berths for at least four of its MPs in the Modi-led government, is not keen to court any controversy and thereby land Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party in trouble. On Monday, Sena’s president Uddhav Thackeray stated that the Narendra Modi government should adopt an aggressive tit-for-tat policy towards Pakistan and should ‘teach it a lesson’ if it creates trouble for India.

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