Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the cancellation of Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali's Mumbai concert was unfortunate, the Shiv Sena played the Godhra card to hit back at the ally BJP, saying the world knew him due to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
With the bonds between the two old allies at the Centre and in Maharashtra loosening, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut targeted Modi, saying Modi "is known and respected due to Godhra and Ahmedabad".
"If the prime minister has made such a statement (on Ghulam Ali), it is unfortunate," PTI quoted Raut as saying.
"The world knows Narendra Modi due to Godhra and Ahmedabad and we respect him for the same reason. If the same Narendra Modi has called the controversy surrounding Ghulam Ali and (former Pakistan minister) Khurshid Kasuri unfortunate, then it is indeed unfortunate for all of us," he said.
Ghazal singer Ustad Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai was called off recently after Shiv Sena threatened protests, saying that India cannot have cultural ties with Pakistan as the latter is violating ceasefire agreements continuously and killing Indian jawans at the border.
Over two weeks after the Dadri lynching incident, PM Modi had broken his silence on Wednesday, saying the murder of a man over rumours of eating beef and the cancellation of Ghulam Ali's concert were unfortunate.
Earlier in the day, the Congress remarked that the prime minister was ignoring a section of people of India and forgetting his responsibility.
"Narendra Modi is suffering from selective amnesia. He has forgotten that he is the prime minister of entire country and safety and protecting the life of 125 crore citizens of India is his responsibility," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in Delhi.
Janata Dal United supremo Sharad Yadav also took a dig at Modi, saying he was giving more importance to cricket victories than communal violences.
"He (Modi) speaks in so many countries... If cricket team wins he immediately speaks and on other things also he immediately speaks up. This is a matter of country's unity, then how can the prime minister speak over this after delay," Yadav asked.