The Shiv Sena threatened to pull out of the BJP-led Maharashtra government on Friday — a day before it completes a year in power — marking a new low in the weeks-long war of words between the allies.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, addressing a rally minutes later, called the Sena a ‘naatak company’.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray lashed out at the BJP and asked the party to keep its “arrogance” in check. “If this arrogance of power continues, I will withdraw my support to the government and ensure it falls,” Thackeray said while campaigning for the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) polls.
His comments were with reference to the charges by Sena leader and state public works minister Eknath Shinde, who alleged the BJP was misusing the state machinery against Sena workers.
“If the government machinery continues to be misused, I will not rest until I get this government out on the streets,” the Sena chief said in Kalyan.
Agar BJP ko zyada masti hai to hum samarthan wapas le lenge, apne sabhi mantriyon kay istife le lenge: Uddhav Thackeray in Kalyan— ANI (@ANI_news) October 30, 2015
Sarkari vyavasthaa ka istemaal agar "ghar ki gaadi" ki tarah hua to hum sarkar ko "rastey par le aaenge": Uddhav Thackeray— ANI (@ANI_news) October 30, 2015
The cracks in the Sena-BJP alliance have been jarringly visible, but this is the first time Thackeray has issued an open threat of pulling out of the Fadnavis-led state government. This is in contrast to Thackeray’s Dussehra speech last week, where he categorically said the Sena will not pull out of the government .
Thackeray has also issued Fadnavis an ultimatum on the issue of tur dal prices. “In the next cabinet meeting, before anything else is discussed, I want an answer from the CM on how he is controlling the skyrocketing prices of tur dal. I want answers, not just assurances,” Thackeray said.
Janta ne jab Indira Gandhi ko ukhaad phenka tha to tumhari (BJP) kya aukaat? Diwali se pehle dal kay daam kum hone chahiye: Uddhav Thackeray— ANI (@ANI_news) October 30, 2015
Earlier on Friday, Shinde walked up to Thackeray, midway through the speech, with his resignation letter. This seemed to act as a trigger, as Thackeray rejected his resignation saying, “I won’t accept your resignation alone. We will not tolerate this (misuse of police machinery). If this does not end, I will get all our ministers to resign and ensure the government is out on the streets.”
The BJP did not mince words while responding. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, addressing a rally minutes later, called the Sena a ‘naatak company’. “We have seen cabinet ministers making allegations and then resigning. What kind of nautanki is this?” he said.
The KDMC elections have seen hostility between the two parties rise, after they decided to end the 20-year alliance in the KDMC, and go solo instead.