BJP-Shiv Sena ties on the brink

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on November 09, 2014

Sena irked by Suresh Prabhu switching parties, no clarity from BJP on stance over NCP

Ties between the BJP and the Shiv Sena have moved dangerously close to the brink in the wake of the spat over Union Cabinet expansion and the BJP’s failure to accommodate the Sena in the Maharashtra Government.

The simmering tension between the parties came to a boil on Sunday as Sena MP Anil Desai, who had rushed to Delhi to join the Modi Cabinet, returned to Mumbai on orders of Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.

Thackeray told mediapersons that till the Maharashtra picture gets clear, there is no point of having a Minister at the Centre.

Sena’s anger was also fuelled by Suresh Prabhu quitting the party and joining the BJP this morning before being inducted into the Cabinet.

With the two parties at loggerheads, the process of government formation in Maharashtra has become more complicated as the Sena has asked the BJP to clarify its position on taking the support of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the Devendra Fadnavis Government. Thackeray said if the BJP seeks NCP’s support, then it will sit in the Opposition. Thackeray said the Sena wants a stable government in Maharashtra. For that, it is ready to support the BJP Government but not at the cost of the party’s self-esteem. The election of the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker is scheduled for Wednesday and the person should be acceptable to the Sena, he said. After that, the party will take a call whether or not to support the BJP Government.

“We want full clarity on our relationship with the BJP and we will not enter the Government by making any compromises on our principles. We are in no hurry or compulsion to enter the Government,” Thackeray said.

This brinkmanship has left the fate of Anant Geete, the lone Minister in the Modi Cabinet, hanging. Geete had tried in vain to meet the Prime Minister on Saturday night; he was then asked by the Sena leadership to return to Mumbai.

Published on November 09, 2014
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