Even as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tried to keep up an appearances by speaking about reconciling with ally Shiv Sena on Saturday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party struck a discordant note, taking potshots at partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This latest clash comes two days after Thackeray slammed the BJP in his annual Dussehra rally address.
Speaking at an event organised by a television news channel, Fadnavis said, “We have been together for 25 years and have been tolerating each other. The people have given us a mandate to rule together and we will do that.”
However, at the same event, senior Sena leader and industries minister Subhash Desai said the Sena was feeling slighted. Ahead of the completion of the first year of the government, Desai indicated the Sena’s consistent feeling of being ignored even in the government, continued to exist strongly. The Sena said its ministers are not being taken into confidence ahead of major policy decisions. Recently, its ministers of state had held a meeting with Fadnavis, to complain on this issue.
Reiterating it, Desai said, “In the Sena-BJP government (in 1995), we had given an equal status to BJP ministers. Then, why we are we now being given different treatment if we are indeed partners in power? ”asked Desai.
Saturday’s editorial in Saamna, the party mouthpiece, also took potshots at the BJP. The piece likened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “oxygen”, but warned it against waning popularity. In the same breath, it said the Sena’s popularity among the masses will sustain. “The BJP has received Modi oxygen in the form of power. This oxygen will last till the subsidy of the popularity ends. The Sena is standing firm on its thoughts, struggle and patriotism, its beliefs will not change no matter what.”
The party also said its Dussehra rally had made it clear the future belongs to the Sena. “We will fight with whoever is ready to join us, or else we are fully prepared to fight it out all alone.”