Shiv Sena raises plight of Maharashtra farmers, hits out at ex-ally BJP
On the first day of the winter session of Parliament, Sena MPs, including former Union minister Arvind Sawant and Sanjay Raut, held a protest inside Parliament’s premises, demanding that the Centre declare unseasonal rains in Maharashtra as a natural calamity.Updated: Nov 19, 2019 00:40 IST
New Delhi: The Shiv Sena on Monday turned up the heat on its former partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on issues related to the farmers of Maharashtra, staging a protest inside the Parliament complex, chanting slogans in the Lok Sabha and staging a walkout from the House as well.
On the first day of the winter session of Parliament, Sena MPs, including former Union minister Arvind Sawant and Sanjay Raut, held a protest inside Parliament’s premises, demanding that the Centre declare unseasonal rains in Maharashtra as a natural calamity.
Unseasonal rains has damaged crops spread across about 7 million hectares, and led to a loss of Rs 5,000 crore in Maharashtra, where the BJP and the Shiv Sena have feuded over government formation after fighting the October 21 assembly elections in an alliance The feud, which led President’s rule to be imposed on Maharashtra this month, has caused a break-up of the BJP-Sena partnership.
Sena MPs also raised slogans inside the Lok Sabha demanding immediate relief for farmers. As soon as Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla completed the traditional obituary references, Sena MPs stood up and started chanting, “We need justice for farmers”.
The Sena’s Vinayak Raut said farmers needed to be compensated by the Centre as their crops had been damaged by a natural disaster. All Sena MPs then walked out of the house.
Monday was the opening day of the winter session of Parliament, which is the first since the Sena and BJP failed to secure a deal on forming a government in Maharashtra despite emerging from the assembly elections with a majority between them in the 288-member assembly.
The Sena was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), but after Sena MP Arvidn Sawant resigned from Narendra Modi ’s council of ministers, the Maharashtra-based party’s MPs were allotted seats in the opposition benches.
Raut hit out at the BJP leadership, noting that the Sena was one of the four parties that founded the NDA.
“If you take a step back from the deal on which you agreed, it is not right. Balasaheb Thackeray was among the four leaders who formed the NDA. We have saved NDA several times. We never left their hand but today they think they are God. If you are thinking of removing Sena from NDA then you are not God,” he told news agency ANI.
The relationship between the two parties touched a new low after the Sena decided to explore a government without the BJP and with the help of the Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar and the Congress.
Raut said a government will be formed in Maharashtra and a Sena leader will become the next chief minister of the state.
Meanwhile, Union minister Ramdas Athawale, whose Republican Party of India is a part of the NDA, said BJP chief Amit Shah had assured him that the BJP and Sena will eventually come together to form a government in Maharashtra.
“I think that Shiv Sena should change its stand. Congress is not ready to support the Sena,” he added.
The BJP has 105 seats, Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44 seats in the state assembly.The majority mark in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly is 145.