BJP-Sena's spar in the open
On Friday morning, immediately after the Shiv Sena-Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) split, supporters from both the parties started a virtual war of sorts, posting posters, jokes and messages attacking each other, on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Shiv Sainiks raised slogans against the BJP in front of Matoshree on Friday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Sena men are furious and alleged that the BJP had already started its campaign and decided the split much earlier but announced it only on Thursday. However, on the other hand, the BJP claims that the Shiv Sena had already started a separate campaign two weeks ago.
On Thursday night, the Sena supporters shouted slogans against the BJP chief Amit Shah and Eknath Khadse outside Uddhav Thackeray’s residence Matoshree in Kala Nagar. Around the same time, BJP supporters started calling Aaditya Thackeray names, some even likening him to Rahul Gandhi of Sena.
While, the BJP’s official statement by the party’s national spokesperson and in-charge of Maharashtra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said that he wouldn’t like to comment on the slogans shouted against their president, a BJP leader said that if the Sena crosses its limits, then they will not keep quiet. “BJP has changed and we won’t take any offensive comment against our party leaders lying low. We will give a befitting reply to the abuses that we receive from Sena,” said the leader.
At the moment, the Sena leaders are refraining from making any comments about the situation as they are awaiting instructions from Matoshree. “Our leader had asked us not to speak against the BJP till the time the alliance was intact. The picture will be more clear after Uddhavji’s rally,” said a senior Sena leader.
The BJP has also unveiled a fresh campaign — ‘Mission 145 Plus’ to mock the Sena’s ‘Mission 150 Plus’ campaign. They are claiming that the BJP and its alliance partners will get more than 145 seats. The halfway mark required to form the government at the state level is 144. None of the parties are willing to budge and with the new figure floated by them, it will be worth watching which party forms the government. However, with all four major partners contesting elections separately, many expect a hung assembly.