The Shiv Sena on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of removing it from the National Democratic Alliance without any discussion. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said it was ready to take on the BJP, and claimed that the people of Maharashtra will one day chant “Shiv Sena Zindabad”.
The Shiv Sena also said that “some person” named Prahlad Joshi, who is part of the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre, had announced that the party was being ejected from the NDA because it had formed ties with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.
The Saamana editorial said that the Shiv Sena had supported the BJP and its predecessor, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, at a time when no other party wanted to have anything to do with them. The party said it promoted the cause of Hindutva and nationalism even before the BJP was born.
The Shiv Sena also said that when (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee, (Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray, LK Advani and George Fernandes were at the core of the NDA, decisions were taken based on discussion and consultation.
The Shiv Sena said that not only had it been ejected from the NDA, but the decision to do so was taken on the seventh death anniversary of Thackeray. Thackeray died on November 17, 2012.
“When everyone had gone against [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, Balasaheb was the one who protected him,” the editorial said. “And on his death anniversary, you throw the Sena out of NDA?”
The Shiv Sena had on Saturday refused to attend an NDA meeting ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, which began on Monday. At the time, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said the party’s exit from the NDA was a “mere formality”.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena had formed an alliance prior to the Maharashtra Assembly elections, which were held on October 21. When the results were declared three days later, the BJP had won 105 seats in the 288-seat legislature, the Shiv Sena 56, the Nationalist Congress Party 54 and the Congress 44.
However, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine could not form the government due to the Shiv Sena’s insistence that BJP National President Amit Shah had promised a 50:50 power-sharing formula before the Lok Sabha polls. The Shiv Sena wanted the chief minister’s post for 2.5 years, and half the ministries in the Maharashtra Cabinet, demands that the BJP rejected. Subsequently, President’s Rule was declared in Maharashtra on November 12, three days after the term of the Assembly ended.
The Shiv Sena is currently in talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party to form an alternative government in Maharashtra. On Monday, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar met Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the possibility of an alliance between the three parties.