Shiv Sena to sever all ties with BJP, vows to expose government, seize power in Maharashtra

Updated: 24 January, 2018 10:31 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

To sever all ties with BJP in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, vows to expose the government, seize power in Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray said the Sena will fight BJP in other states also
Uddhav Thackeray said the Sena will fight BJP in other states also

The Shiv Sena has announced a shat pratishat break-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It will not ally with the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, severing its ties with the NDA major. It will also fight the Assembly polls on its own next year, keeping the arrangement that it had in 2014 in place.

However, the party hasn't announced its exit from the Centre or the Maharashtra government where it is a pre-poll and post-poll partner, respectively. But its intentions were made loud and clear with every Sena leader tearing into the BJP's policies and PM Narendra Modi at its national executive, which met after five years on Tuesday at Worli's Sardar Patel Stadium. It was also the birth anniversary of Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the resolutions passed, including that of going solo, were the result of a thought process. "Please do not think we have resolved just like that. We are not going to drop them (resolutions). We are going to act on them. You all have supported them and I want a firm commitment from you," he told delegates.

'How can they stay in power?'
Thackeray said the Sena will fight BJP in other states also. "We stayed away from other states because we did not want to split Hindu votes. But now we have realised that their Hindutva is different from ours. We will now seek votes in the name of real Hindutva," said Thackeray.

Slamming BJP for allying with the PDF whose MLA has openly said extremists were his friends, Thackeray said the BJP should have quit the Jammu and Kashmir government immediately. "When our soldiers are dying fighting terrorists, the BJP enjoys power. If they are so brave then they should take foreign dignitaries to Srinagar's Lal Chowk to unfurl the tricolour, instead of taking them to Ahmedabad to fly kites," he said.

'Expose BJP to the hilt'
"What angers me most is the arrogance that BJP ministers display. Nitin Gadkari ridicules the Navy in public, instead of telling it in private what is wrong. Tell me, does Gadkari go to the border to strike surgically? Then why does his government take credit for it? Your 56-inch chest is rendered useless here because it doesn't match the bravery of our Navy," he said, while launching an attack on PM Modi.

Advising sainiks, Thackeray said the best way to tame BJP was to expose its government for its false promises and reckless promotions through media. The Sena will also go back to the Marathi card. Thackeray said while other states pressed for their local languages and worked for benefitting the sons of the soil, Maharashtra was turning into something different, thanks to a conspiracy of dividing the Marathi-speaking population on caste and religion.

Other politicians say
"Why make such announcements? If the Sena has guts then they must quit the government first. But the Sena wants to enjoy power because it has double standards," said Ajit Pawar, senior NCP leader, reacting to Thackeray's comments. "The Sena has lost its morality by staying in power with BJP. The sainiks are already demoralised. They shouldn't talk much," said Opposition leader in assembly and Congress leader, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.

No threat, says Fadnavis
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said there was no imminent threat to his government. "Lets wait, they (Sena) have been saying many things, as of now we are in alliance in the government and it will complete its term," Fadnavis said at Davos. Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar said the BJP wanted an alliance with the Sena, but if the ally is talking of separation, then his party too was ready to go alone in the Lok Sabha and Assembly. "The people of Maharashtra too are prepared. The Sena will be at a loss and this is our official position," he said.

No. of Sena members in the Lok Sabha

No of BJP members in the Lok Sabha

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First Published: 24 January, 2018 10:15 IST

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