The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party feud in Maharashtra intensified on Friday after the former targeted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project—the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. Earlier in the week, Sena leaders attacked Fadnavis over his flagship water conservation project—Jalyukta Shivar.
In an editorial in party’s mouthpiece, Saamna, the Sena criticised the project and asked, “The (Maharashtra) Prosperity Corridor is Chief Minister Fadnavis’ dream project. Why can’t his dream project be to prevent the death of farmers instead?”
The Sena has organised a farmers’ rally in Nashik on Friday, where farmers from the adjoining 140 villages are expected to take part, to protest various issues from farm loan waivers to acquisition of farmland and construction of the 706-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway.
Titled ‘the roar of the farmers”, the editorial asked whether the government will call the farmers ‘traitors’ for protesting. “The government has prioritised the interests of builders and the rich and important over the interests of the farmers. Has the government ever thought of what the farmers want?” it said.
Although the Sena has never shied away from criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the party rarely targeted CM Fadnavis.
However, since the past few days, the Sena has directly attacked Fadnavis and his pet projects.
In the editorial, Sena also targeted Modi for his poll promise of bringing black money stashed away in Swiss bank accounts back into the economy. “It was the Modi government’s promise to bring back black money. So get the black money and get rid of farmers’ debts,” the editorial stated.