Three days after Union minister Nitin Gadkari met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray seeking to tone down the latter's opposition to the land acquisition bill, Thackeray has asked for an urgent meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies to solve this contentious issue.
According to the Sena chief, the BJP needs to take the NDA allies on board on the matter. "The BJP needs to take the allies into confidence. They should call an urgent meeting of the NDA," demanded Thackeray. The Sena has termed the bill to be 'anti-farmer' and would soon write a letter to the Centre seeking some amendments to be carried out.
According to political analysts, this is an attempt to embarrass the BJP. "Uddhav wants to expose the divisions in the NDA and this will come out prominently during the meeting. This will put the Narendra Modi- government on the mat," said Prakash Bal, an eminent political analyst.
Apart from the opposition parties, even the NDA allies- Akali Dal and the Lok Janshakti Party- are also critical of the bill and have decided to oppose it. Their objection is that the bill was tailormade to suit the corporates and would end up with farmers losing their land.
Ever since the BJP got the drubbing in the recent Delhi assembly polls, the Sena has left no chance to criticize the BJP-led government both in the Centre and Maharashtra. The Sena through its mouthpiece Saamana even blamed Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, asking him to take up responsibility for his failure to trace the murderers of communist leader Govind Pansare who was assassinated in broad daylight. The Saamana editorial also remarked that there was no visible difference between the previous Congress-NCP government and the BJP-led government in the state.
According to Bal, there are various reasons for Uddhav to get aggressive. "There is a deep suspicion in the Sena that the BJP-led by Amit Shah was trying to break the saffron party. In addition, the Sena got a raw deal in the entire portfolio distribution and its ministers of state are being treated very badly by the senior BJP colleagues," he added.
Some senior BJP leaders like Eknath Khadse made caustic comments on Sena junior revenue minister Sanjay Rathod that the latter was more interested in files pertaining to temple lands.