The veritable storm, which erupted in Shiv Sena days after its bête noire, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), decided to support the BJP in the state without joining the NDA or the saffron Grand Alliance, does not seem to have died down.
Launching a scathing attack at the BJP ahead of crucial General Elections, Shiv Sena said that there is a ‘trust deficit’.
In an editorial in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, party’s chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the Bharatiya Janata Party has angered its allies and should adhere to the “dharma” of the alliance.
“…Modi’s rise in Gujarat was possible because Bal Thackeray stuck to the dharma of alliance and did not align with Waghela…The BJP leaders who tried to reach out to the Sena deserters should read this history,” Uddhav said.
Uddhav also stressed that BJP wanted Modi to become prime minister of the country but for that “BJP needs to create an atmosphere of trust”.
“Our ideology of Hindutva is not to gain power. We don’t don the garb of Hindutva in hunger for power and there is no room for betrayal in Hindutva. Our ideology is Hindutva and will continue to be so irrespective of anyone being with us or not,” the editorial said.
Uddhav said, “If BJP wants power at the Centre with Modi as prime minister, it should create an atmosphere of trust. You don’t get trust if you don’t create one yourself for others.”
The Shiv Sena president also said his party was capable of fighting its own battles. “If you sidestep and betray friends who have stood by you through thick and thin, you will be self-inflicting the label of betrayal,” Uddhav said.
Referring to some reports appearing in media, Uddhav said the BJP has adopted a new policy of “tying up with one regional party and carrying out backdoor deals with another”.
Albeit the BJP has tried to mollify its oldest ally Shiv Sena, yet all such efforts seem to have failed. The mood in the Shiv Sena soured after MNS chief Raj Thackeray last Sunday announced support for Modi without joining either the NDA or the five-party saffron “Grand Alliance” in the state. He also announced the putting up of MNS candidates against Shiv Sena nominees, except in Pune.
The development stirred the politics in Maharashtra with Shiv Sena flexing its muscles over continuation of alliance. This prompted top BJP leadership, including Rajnath Singh and BJP’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi, to do firefighting by pacifying Uddhav. Uddhav also accused BJP of adopting self-defeating tactics.
“..The party is hitting its head against the wall and has hurt itself in the process. BJP should invoke provisions of the Domestic Violence Act to treat their self-inflicted injuries. After being told by us, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Rajiv Pratap Rudy have applied ‘zandu balm’, but what is the guarantee that there will be no domestic violence again,” the editorial said.
Uddhav said BJP owed its national identity to regional parties like Shiv Sena.
“Despite the Hindutva wave after Rathyatra, BJP could not form government on its own even though towering leaders like AB Vajpayee and Advani leading it. It was Pramod Mahajan who deftly handled the coalition of 30-32 parties,” Uddhav said.