Top ally of Bharatiya Janata Party in NDA, Shiv Sena, has been critical of PM Narendra Modi's party and policies in the recent past just like its opponents.
Top ally of Bharatiya Janata Party in NDA, Shiv Sena, has been critical of PM Narendra Modi’s party and policies in the recent past just like its opponents. The war of words has even spiralled into the two parties contesting elections against each other in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya. In such a scenario, it will be interesting to see as to what transpires when BJP chief Amit Shah meets Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray seeking support for 2019 Lok Sabha elections as part of his party’s ‘Sampark se Samarthan’ programme.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of the recently held Lok Sabha by-poll in Palghar, where Shiv Sena lost to the BJP. After the elections, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday described BJP as its biggest “political enemy”. Raut had said that the country “does not” want the duo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, but could “accept” the Congress or JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda.
“The Shiv Sena is the biggest political enemy of the BJP. The Sena’s radical Hinduism would prove problematic for the BJP,” he had said.
However, a report by the PTI has said that Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is in the favour of a pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena. “Fadnavis asked the party’s state office-bearers to try for a pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena. But, he said that if the alliance does not materialise, we should prepare to contest alone,” Raosaheb Danve, the BJP’s state unit chief has said.
In the recent past, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray have criticised a number of initiatives taken up by the Modi govenment. During his Dussehra address last year, Thackeray had said that the ‘time of final decision has come’. Thackeray has criticised Modi’s flagship economic reforms – demonetisation and GST.
He has also attacked BJP and asked it to refrain from “teaching patriotism”. “Don’t teach us patriotism. The day when we need to be taught patriotism hasn’t come yet,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by PTI. “An atmosphere was created that those who favour demonetisation are patriots and those who oppose it are traitors,” Thackeray had said.
Meanwhile, media reports have claimed that Amit Shah’s outreach programme that involves visiting imminent personalities and submitting a report card of the Modi government, and apparently seeking support in the forthcoming elections, will see the party president reach out to its Punjab ally SAD’s Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday. The overture comes a day after the BJP received an apparent message from its Bihar partner that all was well in the alliance.