Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday retorted after Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he believed Pakistan’s Karachi city will be a part of India one day and that his party supported the idea of an undivided India or “Akhand Bharat”, ANI reported.
“First, bring [back] the Kashmir that is occupied by Pakistan,” ANI quoted Raut as saying. “We will go to Karachi later.”
Fadnavis, in a veiled dig at the Shiv Sena, had said on Saturday that the BJP believed in the idea of “Akhand Bharat” or an undivided India that has been united with Pakistan and Bangladesh. His comment came amid a controversy over a Shiv Sena leader telling the owner of Mumbai snack shop Karachi Sweets to change the name of his store.
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik also responded to Fadnavis’ comment. He said that the Nationalist Congress Party will welcome the Centre’s decision to create one country after merging India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
A huge row had erupted last week over a video of Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nandgaonkar telling the owner of Karachi Sweets that he hated his shop’s name. “Your ancestors are from Pakistan,” Nandgaonkar was heard telling the owner. “You came from the country during the Partition, and you are welcome. I hate the name Karachi. The city in Pakistan is a hub of terrorists.”
The Sena leader told the sweet shop owner to change the store’s name to “something in Marathi”.
Nandgaonkar added that he would visit the store again in 15 days, and claimed that he would help the store owner with the formalities. The store reportedly covered its name with newspaper after Nandgaonkar’s visit and the owner said that he did not want any trouble.
The Shiv Sena had distanced itself from Nandgaonkar’s actions. “Karachi Bakery and Karachi Sweets have been in Mumbai since last 60 years,” Sanjay Raut had said. “They have nothing to do with Pakistan. It makes no sense to ask for changing their names now. Demand for changing their name is not Shiv Sena’s official stance.”