The Shiv Sena on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party has no moral right to criticise former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Kanhaiya Kumar. In its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said the BJP has lost this moral right since it formed an alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, whose leader Mehbooba Mufti regards 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru a martyr.

Guru was executed in 2013. Kumar, on the other hand, has been charged with sedition along with 12 others for allegedly chanting slogans praising Guru at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016.

On Wednesday, the Shiv Sena said that just like 2008 Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab, Kumar will also get a fair trial in court. However, it added that if the chargesheet against Kumar and 12 others is based on flimsy evidence, the case will not stand in court.

The Shiv Sena extolled Kumar as a representative of the unemployed youth of the country. “Kanhaiya Kumar speaks well,” the editorial said. “Though he represents the harried and unemployment youth of the country, he cannot give slogans hailing Afzal Guru or independence for Kashmir.”

“Anyway, what moral right does the BJP have to condemn Kanhaiya Kumar?” the Shiv Sena asked. “It has already committed the grave sin of aligning with Mehbooba Mufti, who calls Afzal Guru a freedom fighter and a martyr.”

The Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, mocked the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, for failing to win elections at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “The ABVP cannot overcome a handful of activists chanting anti-national slogans in the university,” the editorial said. “Is this because elections are not held through electronic voting machines?”

The party also challenged Maharashtra BJP minister Girish Mahajan to fulfill his promise of winning elections for the party. “Maharashtra BJP minister Girish Mahajan recently claimed he will show his ‘magic’ wherever he is sent and make sure his party wins the polls,” the Shiv Sena said. “We request the BJP to send him to Jawaharlal Nehru University to fight anti-national forces there. But tell him that elections in the university are not held through EVMs.”