Sena-BJP rift widens ahead of budget session

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 20, 2015 18:45 IST

The rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ally Shiv Sena seems to be widening, and may get worse as the civic elections draw closer.

The crucial budget session of the Maharashtra legislature is barely three weeks away and a coordination committee of senior leaders from both parties is likely to meet on February 24 to resolve issues. The committee includes state BJP president Raosaheb Danve and public works minister Chandrakant Patil and senior Sena ministers Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote.

The Sena has again targeted CM Devendra Fadnavis-led urban development department for pushing for the increased FSI for the city.

Calling the proposed development plant (DP) pro-builders, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana claimed the move will only make things worse for slumdwelllers and those who live in chawls.

Although Sena rules the BMC, it has blamed the government for the proposed DP.

The backlash came after city BJP president Ashish Shelar took a dig at Yuva Sena chief Aadtiya Thackeray’s proposal of ‘vibrant Mumbai night life’, saying it should not be only for the elite class.

Fadnavis, too, appeared to be cautious saying said the government will act in the interest of the common people.

“The BJP wants to occupy the entire space of Hindutva and to cut its ally to size in the state. In the run-up to the elections of key civic bodies such as BMC, one-upmanship by both the parties is expected to take an ugly turn,” said Hemant Desai, a political observer.

According to a senior NCP leader, the Sena is upset by the cosiness between the BJP and NCP. “By announcing unconditional support, the NCP helped the BJP in cutting Sena to size in the state. Since then, BJP has succeeded in keeping an upper hand over its ally. The recent meeting between Modi-Pawar was a fresh blow to the Sena,” he said.

Upset smaller allies to meet on Saturday
Smaller allies of the BJP are upset after being denied a place in the coordination committee. The Swabhimaan Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram and the Republican Party of India will have a joint meeting on Saturday asking for inclusion in the panel and ministerial berths.

SSS leader Sadabhau Khot said there is discontent among the allies. “We feel used by the BJP, as they are not even acknowledging our presence,” he said.

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