The Shiv Sena on Thursday warned its rebel MLAs that the Bharatiya Janata Party would “throw them in the garbage” once their need was over. The party made the remarks in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
“Today, the BJP is treating them [rebel MLAs] with utmost care,” the editorial read. “But they will again throw them in the garbage as soon as the work is done. This has been the tradition of the BJP.”
The remarks came amid a political turmoil in the state which has put the future of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition in doubt. A group of MLAs led by minister Eknath Shinde put up in a hotel in Surat on Monday night and then moved to Guwahati. They are demanding that the Shiv Sena break its alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
Shinde has claimed to have the support of 46 MLAs, including those from the Shiv Sena and Independent legislators. He has demanded that the Shiv Sena should restore its alliance with the BJP. However, the saffron party has maintained that Shinde’s rebellion is an internal matter of the Shiv Sena.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi is an alliance of the Shiv Sena which has 55 MLAs, the Nationalist Congress Party with 53 MLAs and the Congress with 44 MLAs. Some smaller parties and Independent MLAs also support the government.
However, if 46 MLAs withdraw their support, Thackeray’s government would be in danger of being toppled.
In Thursday’s editorial, the Shiv Sena alleged that the BJP was behind the rebellion by Shinde.
“The BJP is saying it has nothing to do with the political development, but it seems to be just a joke because its members were present at the Surat hotel,” the editorial stated. “At the same time, the rebel MLAs were welcomed by an Assam minister at the Guwahati airport.”
The party further also warned the rebel MLAs that they could be ousted from the party if Shiv Sena workers decide so.
“Whether the Shiv Sena is in power or not makes no difference to the party organisation,” the editorial read. “The only persons for whom it will make a difference are MLAs who fall prey to the BJP’s inducements and pressure.”
It further said that the popularity of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister is at its peak in Maharashtra.
“However, if all the MLAs contest elections again, then they will surely be defeated by the people of Maharashtra,” the party said. “These people [MLAs] are not be aware of it.”