In a veiled attack on the BJP, the Shiv Sena on Thursday said those who launch "cyber attacks" on political opponents in Maharashtra should not find it difficult to fight China which is locked in a border stand-off with India.
The remark in the Sena mouthpiece ''Saamana'' came a day after the party's ally Congress alleged that "thousands" of Twitter accounts were opened after actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death in June "just to run a campaign against the Mumbai Police and the state government".
The Congress called it a "BJP-driven social media terrorism". The BJP dismissed the Congress allegations as "wild and baseless".
The Sena, a former BJP ally, and the Congress are constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece claimed said after Mr Rajput's death on June 14, "80,000 fake social media accounts" were opened and operated from the US, Nepal, Turkey, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
"A government which can launch such cyber attackson political opponents in Maharashtra, defeating China should not be difficult for it," the Marathi daily said, taking potshots at the BJP without naming it.
"The cyber attacks were defeated. But, we have to sink our political differences for national security and sovereignty to win in Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley," it said.
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's remark that had the UPA been in power, "we would have evicted and thrown out China and it would not have taken 15 minutes to do so", the Sena publication said the BJP has not yet responded to his challenge.
"What strategy does he have? Prime Minister Narendra Modi should speak to Gandhi. After all, it is a question of national security," it said.
Those who feel Mr Gandhi's statement is rubbish, should check on PM Modi's similar comments made earlier, it said.
"Everyone welcomed the abrogation of Article 370...but now China has entered Ladakh. We have to fight on both fronts.
"We threaten Pakistan but are not willing to even name China. A weak Pakistan is taking advantage of the India-China border tensions," the editorial said.