Elections 2014: BJP high command irked over crisis in alliance with Shiv Sena

Mar 14, 2014, 07:51 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

President Rajnath Singh and PM nominee Narendra Modi expressed their strong displeasure at the ongoing tiff with the Shiv Sena

Troubles seem to be far from over for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Party chief Rajnath Singh and PM candidate Narendra Modi, the top brass, have made their displeasure clear over the recent developments with the Shiv Sena.

Although the dust seems to have settled after Modi called up Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, along with visits from general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy and state unit chief Devendra Fadnavis, to assure him that the Sena was an important ally (‘Modi dials Uddhav, alliance still on’, March 12), Modi and Singh have pulled up their state counterparts for the lapse.

Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi want to know why the state leaders of the BJP aren’t keeping things in control. FILE PIC

Speaking with state BJP leaders, both asked what was going on in Maharashtra. “We are already preoccupied with the national campaign and certain issues to be dealt at the national level. Why are the state leaders allowing things to go out of hand?” the two are said to have asked.

Senior leaders were perturbed especially after Thackeray’s threats. “I too can contest 45 seats, leaving two for Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and one for Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, and announce my support to Narendra Modi for PM’s post,” he told Devendra Fadnavis, which forced BJP’s central unit to intervene.

If that wasn’t enough, there is in-fighting as well. After Uddhav Thackeray taunted the BJP, asking them who the party’s point man was for elections, the party declared state chief Devendra Fadnavis as the man to go to. This has ticked off senior leader Gopinath Munde, who felt he deserved the responsibility.

“The decision was taken to avoid a clash between Nitin Gadkari and Munde, who are at loggerheads since many years. Rarely do they agree on any issue,” said a party leader.

Upset over his snub, Munde did not go to the BJP core committee meeting attended by Rudy, on Wednesday.
Now to pacify the leader, BJP has given a Lok Sabha ticket to Poonam Mahajan-Rao, his niece, and daughter of late Pramod Mahajan.

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