January 7, 2017 3:34:31 am
The war of words between Shiv Sena and BJP continued on Friday with right wing RSS associated newspaper “Tarun Bharat” daring Uddhav Thackeray to walk out of the government instead of hurling abuses daily against the Narendra Modi government. It also cautioned Uddhav against borrowed bravado, arguing it would be detrimental to their party as people cannot be fooled with political rhetoric.
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It cites the 2014 assembly elections to state how Sena’s highhandedness was given a befitting reply and BJP emerged number one party in the state and at the Centre. It also emphasised how the Sena was desperate to join the Fadnavis government post polls.
Marathi newspaper Tarun Bharat is perceived to be the mirror of the RSS ideology. In its editorial, it attacked the “double standards”of the Sena. While referring to their politics to that of “Ardhanarinateshwar” (Double role), it said, “If the Sena is so anguished about the demonetisation policies of the Modi government or otherwise, nothing stops them from withdrawing from the government.”
“The Sena cannot resort to such extreme measures as it is drawn to the power magnet which it wants to enjoy by staying in the government,” it observed.
Tarun Bharat’s scathing attack against the Sena comes ahead of the crucial municipal corporation elections in the BMC and other nine cities across Maharashtra.
The hardening of stand against the Sena is a pointer to BJP asserting its political might against Uddhav’s party and laying the roadmap for contesting the polls on its own strength.
Buoyed with the success in the recent local bodies elections, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP believes it can further consolidate its organisation by taking the Sena head on. The BJP also reckons that Sena’s withdrawal will not make any dent on its political stability in Maharashtra with leaders stating that there is a plan B and plan C to keep the Fadnavis government intact.
The BJP, with 122 seats requires just 22 members for the half-way mark. Political managers revealed that “The elected members from ruling Sena and Opposition are already waiting in the wings to join the party.”
Political managers in the Sena told The Indian Express, “The stakes for Sena are higher in BMC for Uddhav Thackeray than for Fadnavis’ BJP.” They also reckon that if Sena were to pull out from the state government, there is a possibility of a split in the organisation which would dent Uddhav’s image.
A senior BJP general secretary told The Indian Express, “In the last two years, we have swallowed insults from Sena leaders and Saamna. There are at least a dozen edits and public rallies where Uddhav Thackeray has crossed the Laxman rekha to attack Modi and party president Amit Shah.” Yet, the BJP pursued mature politics trying to accommodate its aggressive ally without engaging in a bitter war.
What irked the BJP is Sena’s unprovoked strategy to target Fadnavis on the issue of demonetisation in its mouthpiece Saamna. Citing the incident of the Reserve Bank of India where a woman accompanied by a child protested by taking off her clothes to highlight her hardships, Saamna questioned Fadnavis’ ‘sensitivity’. It said, “Such incidents have shaken us. But wonder why Fadnavis remains unperturbed?”
Earlier, at the BMC function in presence of the CM, Uddhav had taken a dig at BJP. In the past, Sena through its edit had equated Modi to a dictator.
Late evening both Fadnavis and Uddhav refrained from commenting on the developments.
A senior Sena minister said, “We are two separate parties. We may support them in the government, but we have to pursue our aggressive street politics, too.”
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