Sena, BJP war of words reaches flashpoint, minister wants to quit

Sena, BJP war of words reaches flashpoint, minister wants to quit

The Shiv Sena and BJP are at war of words yet again – and a day after Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) registered a landslide victory in Delhi – it has appeared to reach a flash point.

The tussle between the two allies – which had blown hot and cold – since the last six months, comes weeks ahead of the crucial Budget session of the Maharashtra legislature.

Minister of State for Revenue Sanjay Rathod has told Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray that he wants to resign from the government as he is not being assigned work by Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, who is a senior BJP leader. Some other ministers too have offered to put in their papers. Thackeray had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah twice in the last one month.

The first time on January 23, the 89th birth anniversary of late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, when he said that “Shiv Sena was not floating in any sort of wave” and the second time after the Delhi poll debacle – when he said that Modi needs to accept the responsibility of the defeat in Delhi – and that – “a tsunami is bigger than a wave”.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, when being asked about the outburst of Shiv Sena, said: “Sena has been our long—time associate, and as an able coalition partner, it should be with us in good times and bad”.

On the other hand, BJP’s Mumbai unit President Ashish Shelar said that Shiv Sena could walk out of the government rather than targeting Modi. “He is our supreme leader and we would not tolerate anyone targeting him,” he stated.

“The Delhi elections were not national polls, but were strictly state polls. The question of linking Modi’s name to the poll outcome does not arise at all. If someone wants to criticise Modi, BJP workers’ stand is crystal clear: Modiji is the leader of 120 crore people and he is the prime minister. If you want to criticise him, then you better walk out of our government and then show the courage of criticising the prime minister,” Shelar stated.

The reasons for Shiv Sena’s outburst is the BJP’s dominance in the government – in terms of numbers and power in Maharashtra and the old reason of giving just one ministry at the Centre.

“This kind of rift would continue in the government. There would be blow hot-blow cold situation, but both the parties know that they have to be in power, as they have managed to come back in Maharashtra after 15 years ousting the Congress and NCP,” said veteran political analyst Prakash Akolkar, who has written the first biography of Shiv Sena – “Jai Maharashtra”.

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