An editorial in Saamana wondered if there was anything left of the NDA following the exit of its strongest pillars in the form of Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena
The BJP is contesting on 110 seats in the 243-member assembly. The party has given 11 seats from its quota to the VIP.
The Shiv Sena has said that the exit of the Shiromani Akali Dal from the BJP-ruled National Democratic Alliance has thrown the alliance into an existential crisis, and that there was little left of the NDA after the departure of its ally. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena wondered what was really left of the NDA after two of its strongest pillars — the Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal — had snapped ties with the alliance.
The editorial said that the SAD was the NDA’s last pillar and said it was surprising that no effort was made by the BJP to stop the Akali Dal from servering ties with the alliance. The Sena mouthpiece also wondered if the existing partners had anything to do with Hindutva.
“When the Badals left, no effort was made to stop them. Earlier, the Shiv Sena also left NDA. With these two parties out, what is left of the NDA? Those who are still there, do they have anything to do with Hindutva?”
The Sena’s attack comes in counter to a similar criticism the former BJP ally in Maharashtra has faced over aligning forces with its rivals Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP to form a government in the state.
“Now some have said ‘ram-ram’ (adieu) to this venture and so there is no Ram left in NDA, which has lost two lions (Akali Dal and Sena),” the editorial said, noting how Punjab and Maharashtra “represent manliness” and Akali Dal and Shiv Sena are the “faces of that manliness”.
“First, the Shiv Sena had to quit the NDA. Now the Akali Dal has left it. Does the NDA really exist after its two key pillars have walked out?” it added.
The Sena’s strong backing of the Akali Dal came following the latter’s exit from the ruling NDA citing differences over three bills that were brought by the government in the Monsoon Session. All three Bills cleared Parliament last week and became law after receiving the President’s assent on Sunday. The Shiv Sena, also the oldest ally of the BJP, had snapped ties with the BJP following the Assembly elections last year over its demand to share the post of chief ministership.
The Sena mouthpiece said that the BJP is in for a testing time with elections in several states where it will have to enter fray in alliance with smaller parties. This, the Sena alleged, was a result of the BJP pushing forward its agenda of a one-party system.