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Shiv Sena wants greater role in policy making at centre

The party's aggression against Modi's land acquisition bill is to consolidate its base amongst the farmers across Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday urged the Narendra Modi government to set up a coordination committee to thrash out the controversial policy decisions before it is brought to the parliament. The Shiv Sena’s demand comes in the wake of lack of adequate consultations by centre on the controversial land acquisition bill which it termed as anti-farmers.

Sena, which supports the NDA government, is represented by a lone minister Anant Geete in the union cabinet. A senior Sena leader in Delhi said, “ There should be some mechanism to ensure we get to express our views on important policy matters. Often we are not even consulted on important bills.”

However, it was interesting to note that Sena president Uddhav Thackeray while scaling up attack against Modi government on land acquisition bill has put up a spirited defense for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on his criticism against Mother Teresa and Christian Missionaries for converting people by extending financial sops. In its editorial Saamna, a day ago, it lauded RSS chief’s views arguing, “ It is a fact that Christian Missionaries lured people with money and service to convert them in Christianity. Mohan Bhagwat is right when he says the same was the objective undertaken by Mother Teresa. ”

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At a meeting held in Mumbai, Thackeray urged the shakha pramukhs and party leaders to get aggressive on party’s expansion. He urged them to begin the door to door campaign for party’s expansion programme.

However, a senior functionary explained to Indian Express, “We are not going to launch any agitation to protest against the land acquisition act. What has been conveyed was we would continue to raise our voice against anti-farmers policies. We expect the centre to address the farmers’ concerns.”

The senior Sena cabinet minister Subash Desai said, “There should be a coordination committee at centre. If there is adequate consultations and exchange of views on some major policy decisions things would be better.”

Following Sena’s protest to the land bill, senior union cabinet ministers held talks with Thackeray. The Sena has indicated that it will not support the agitation called by social reformer Anna Hazare supported by Aam Admi Party. However, Sena does appears caught in both ruling and opposition mindset.

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In a candid admission a senior Sena (MP) said, “ We are in government both at centre and state. However, if there is unrest amongst the farmers on account of land bill, we cannot be seen supporting Modi government. We would certainly like to consolidate our party’s base amongst the farmers which constitute 55 to 60 per cent of the population in Maharashtra.”

First published on: 25-02-2015 at 09:32:17 pm
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