Tired of being treated like an outsider despite being in power, Shiv Sena legislators complained against BJP leaders and the bureaucracy for excluding them from major decisions or programmes, at a closed-door meeting place at their party office in south Mumbai on Tuesday. They have also sought permission to expose BJP ministers on the ongoing scams and farmers’ suicide during the ongoing monsoon session.
The fury comes at a time when the Sena is vocal about its stand against the BJP, both through statements from leaders and its party mouthpiece Saamana, where it has even criticised PM Narendra Modi and CM Devendra Fadnavis over issues ranging from Pakistan diplomacy, farmers’ suicide and the recent delayed Air India flight during Fadnavis’ US tour.
Senior Sena ministers, including MSRDC minister Eknath Shinde, industries minister Subhash Desai and transport minister Diwakar Raote, gave them a hearing and promised to take it up with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
“We had a meeting where we told the ministers that we cannot be just onlookers if we see things are not going well. If our party is attacking the BJP through Saamana, and Uddhavji is openly taking on BJP leaders, we, too, want to speak on issues such as farmers’ suicide and scams. We are answerable to people who supported us,” said a legislator, from the drought-hit Marathwada belt.
“They said the local taluka- and district-level do not listen to them because of the differences between the BJP and the Sena. They are biased towards the BJP. They also had issues with BJP guardian ministers and bureaucrats, who do not take their opinion into account,” a Sena minister told HT.
The ministers of state said despite seeking appointments, they are made to wait for six months for a meeting with CM Fadnavis.