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Will Uddhav Thackeray announce Sena’s exit from BJP-led Maharashtra govt today?

Thackeray will address party supporters at the annual Dussehra rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2017 14:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Uddhav Thackeray,Shiv Sena,BJP
Shiv sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will address Shiv Sena ‘s annual Dussehra rally at Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park on Saturday evening. (Viral Bhayani)

Hundreds of Shiv Sena supporters will gather at Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park on Saturday evening for the party’s annual Dussehra rally amid speculation about likely announcement of Sena snapping ties with the BJP-led ruling coalition in Maharashtra.

Political grapevine in the state has it that the party chief Uddhav Thackeray will use the platform to make the announcement. But most Sena leaders think it’s unlikely that Thackeray will make such an announcement at the rally.

Shiv Sena, one of the oldest allies in the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), of late has donned the role of an opposition criticising the government on a range of issues.

The relation between the two partners strained after the Sena was relegated to junior partner in its home turf of Maharashtra.

Several senior Sena leaders have urged Thackeray to walk out of the BJP-led government, sources within the party said. However, others say the pull-out threat is merely a pressure tactic.

Thackeray, however, is expected to attack the state government over fuel price hike, inflation and the non-implementation of farm loan waiver package in his Dussehra speech.

“I don’t know what Uddhavji has in mind, but he will definitely touch upon issues that directly concern the common man such as inflation, fuel price rise,” said a senior Sena functionary, requesting anonymity.

The Sena leader is also expected to talk about the stampede at Elphinstone Road station on Friday, which claimed 22 lives.

Senior Sena leaders said Thackeray is likely to criticise the state government over the delay in implementation of the farm loan waiver plan.

“The chief minister had assured us that the loan waiver amount would be deposited by the first week of October, but the process is so complex that it’s taking a long time. Farmers are committing suicide, but the state is moving at snail’s pace,” said a senior party leader who did not wish to be identified.

First Published: Sep 30, 2017 14:20 IST