The tiff between 25-year-old alliance partner Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued on Friday even as the Shiv Sena mouthpiece said they had no plans to forge an alliance with Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
“Our marriage remains intact. My favourite queen should not get angry just because Sharad babu (Pawar) smiled at me,” said Sena mouthpiece Saamna in an editorial addressed to the BJP. However, the Saamna also praised Pawar for his leadership qualities.
The Sena-BJP grudge began over the sharing of seats for the upcoming parliamentary elections. While the Sena is hobnobbing with the NCP, the BJP has adopted a wait and watch stand. “We’re sure the Sena will not go with the NCP. It would mean Thackeray would have to let go of the Hindutva issue and he won’t do that,” said BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde.
The Sena called an urgent meeting to study the political situation in the state on Friday and discussed the possibility of a split with the BJP, said sources. Another crucial meeting of senior party leaders will be held on February 26.
Meanwhile, all is not well in the Congress-NCP camp too. State Congress Chief Manikrao Thakre said the NCP was free to take any decision over alliance for the Lok Sabha elections.
Leaders of both the parties are meeting on February 27 to discuss the seat sharing. “We haven’t heard about it from the NCP leadership so far. In fact, we’re going to have the second round of seat-sharing talk on February 27.”
The BJP has organised rallies of its star campaigner, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at Gondia and Nashik on February 25.