What is going on between BJP and Shiv Sena?

  • Shailesh Gaikwad, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2016 22:05 IST
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (left) has now described Devendra Fadnavis (right) led BJP government in the state as a useless one. (HT file photo)

There seems to be no end to the bitterness between the ruling alliance partners in the state.

In a latest, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has now described the BJP led government in the state as a useless one. “If people in drought affected areas are remembering the relief work done by the previous Congress-NCP government then the government in the state is useless,” Thackeray said at a function in western Maharashtra attended by leaders from all parties.

There was surprise over Thackeray’s bitter remarks though nobody was shocked since bickering between the two ruling partners has become a common feature now. And it is likely to intensify as Mumbai civic polls come closer.

Before Thackeray’s remarks, BJP legislator Ameet Satam demanded a probe into the permissions given by Mumbai civic body’s buildings proposal department saying there was `50,000 crore scam in it.

His colleague and city BJP president Ashish Shelar has already demanded a probe into solid waste management scam following the infamous Deonar dumping ground fire. Besides, both sides are trying to corner each other over the faulty stormwater drains desilting work and shoddy road construction work in the city.

And while we citizens are wondering whether all those suspicions of multi-crore scams in various civic contracts are true, we may witness something more.

According to BJP insiders, one of the options being considered is that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should order probe into certain allegations including flawed roads construction work. City BJP leaders think that the link of the ‘scam’ will reach the higher ups in the Sena and would embarrass the party ahead of the civic elections and damage its prospects. On the other hand, a section in the Sena top brass is of the opinion that the party should pull out of the government ahead of the civic polls so that the BJP doesn’t resort to ‘foul play’. 

Various instances in the recent days show that the relations between the two parties are getting bitter and bitter. But then, will it lead to a divorce or will they stick together in an unhappy marriage?

The opinions are divided among those who are in the know of things. They say there are two possibilities. First is that the two parties will part ways around the Mumbai civic polls — before the elections or soon after them. Both sides see little chances of them contesting Mumbai civic election together as the BJP will insist on more seats in seat sharing and Sena is unlikely to concede the same. For Sena retaining power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is very important and the BJP is keen to establish its control over India’s financial capital. With both parties keen on a bigger share of power, it is likely that they will contest solo. This would affect the ties with state government could become the casualty. 

However, according to the other opinion, the two parties will stick together even after the civic polls. The Mumbai polls are likely to be repetition of Kalyan where they fought separately but later joined hands to win power. The two sides are not ruling out a similar adjustment in Mumbai too. Fighting separately in local polls would also mean reducing the political space for opposition parties such as Congress and NCP. Both the sides also know that they do not have options. The BJP does not want to rely on the NCP to keep its government afloat. The Sena top brass is wary that snapping ties with the BJP would be counter-productive: They will have to pull out of the Central government which will also become hostile to them.

The fate of the state government may or may not be at stake but what about Mumbai? Are they rooting out the infamous contractor-politicians-administration nexus that has ruined the city? And will there be better planning for Mumbai—the lack of which was exposed by Deonar dumping ground fire? 

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