The Shiv Sena on Monday blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre for the sluggishness in the market during Diwali.

The Shiv Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, said that incessant rains have continued around Maharashtra despite the end of the monsoon season, destroying crops and making the lives of farmers harder. The party said that while the Centre talks of doubling the income of farmers, at times the farmers are unable to even recover the cost of agriculture, due to heavy rainfall. It added that the government seemed to have no solution to this problem.

“Today, there is a slowdown in the market,” the Shiv Sena said. “The buying spree that usually accompanies the bursting of crackers is not visible even now. Due to slowdown, business is down by 30 to 40%.”

The Shiv Sena blamed demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax for the economic slowdown. It also claimed that the economic situation had been worsening instead of improving over time. “Factories and industries are being shut down,” the party said. “There is no employment generation. People are losing jobs.”

India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate slipped to a six-year low of 5% for the April-June 2019 quarter. The Reserve Bank of India as well as the International Monetary Fund have downgraded their GDP growth predictions for the country.

The Shiv Sena said that due to the critical situation in the banking sector, the Centre was forced to withdraw from the reserves available with the RBI. “There is an eerie silence in the market right in the midst of Diwali,” the Shiv Sena said. “And due to online shopping, the country’s money is being sent outside.”

Results of the Maharashtra Assembly elections were declared on October 24. The BJP won 105 seats, and the Shiv Sena 56. The Shiv Sena had last week demanded an equal power-sharing agreement with the BJP, with leaders of both parties serving as chief ministers for 2.5 years each. The party had demanded a written assurance on this aspect from the BJP.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had warned the BJP that it will consider “other options” if the saffron party refuses to agree to its demand. Shiv Sena leaders have pointed out the party is in a commanding position to bargain better berths in the Cabinet after the results.

On Monday, Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, a BJP leader, met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari separately. However, both parties denied the meetings had anything to do with government formation.

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