A day after political alliances collapsed, a blame game has begun with the Shiv Sena dubbing its former partner BJP “enemy of Maharashtra” even as the Congress accused the NCP of “hobnobbing” with the BJP.
In a hard-hitting editorial in its mouthpiece “Saamna”, Shiv Sena signalled its return to the “pro-Marathi” agenda by calling the Amit Shah-led BJP as “enemy of Maharashtra”.
That the Sena was angry with the BJP president’s approach to the alliance was evident from the anti-Amit Shah slogans raised by Sena activists. The Shiv Sena is expected to sharpen its attack on the BJP during the campaign as posters ridiculing Shah have sprung up in parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra.
“We have seen invaders like Adil Shah, Nizam Shah. Who is this Shah,” read the posters in Marathi.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to address a rally in Mumbai on Saturday. The Congress launched a broadside against the NCP accusing it of hobnobbing with the BJP.
“This is not surprising for us because we knew that over the past one and half to two months, the NCP has been trying to get close to the BJP,” AICC general secretary Ajay Maken told reporters here.
There were reports of the Congress aligning with the Samajwadi Party and a few minor dalit outfits for the October 15 Assembly elections, but AICC sources said the party would be fielding candidates on all the 288 seats in the states.
“Why should we let go of an opportunity to re-build the party,” asked a senior Congress functionary. At the party briefing, however, AICC spokesperson Shobha Oza refused to comment on whether NCP was still part of UPA. Meanwhile, the NCP strongly rejected Congress’ allegations of warming up to the BJP. The NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik dubbed the Congress remark as a “canard”.
“We do not need a certificate on our secular credentials from the Congress,” he said. The BJP described the Congress’s remarks as “insensible logic and reckless argument”.
“The Congress and the NCP will be non-existent in the state after the elections,” BJP general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said adding that the question of an alliance with the NCP does not arise.