Sena, BJP part ways for civic polls

Sena, BJP part ways for civic polls

Amid growing tension between the two NDA partners, the Shiv Sena on Thursday decided to break its 25-year-old alliance with the BJP for the upcoming civic polls in Maharashtra.

The Sena will contest alone in elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and nine other big municipalities, 25 zilla parishads and 283 panchayat samitis. “We are not going for an alliance...Shiv Sena is 50 (years old)...and in these years we have been in alliance for 25 years, which was a waste...We are not going to bow down...We are not going to go with a begging bowl (to the BJP),” Sena president Uddhav Thackeray told party workers.

“We are going to contest alone in Mumbai and all the local bodies,” Uddhav said to thunderous applause.

During his speech, he lashed out at the BJP and also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “They (BJP) have many ‘goondas’ in their party but we don’t have ‘goondas’, we have mawlas (sainik),” he said.  “I have only one dream. We will hoist the saffron flag all over Maharashtra. It’s now or never for us,” Uddhav added.

He, however, did not specify whether the alliance at the Centre and at the state level would continue or not.

Over the last fortnight, talks were underway between the BJP and the Sena but differences remained on the seat-sharing issue.

Reacting to the Sena’s decision, Fadnavis said the party prefers to keep its options open. “Power is not the ultimate goal but a medium of development. We take along those who come with us and leave aside who don’t…transformation is inevitable,” Fadnavis tweeted.
DH News Service

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