A day after announcing that Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete would resign from the Modi government, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday that, as of now, there is no proposal to pull out of the NDA government.
Thackeray said that there’s no decision to pull out of NDA. If they leave the NDA then all 42 MPs from Maharashtra will have to resign because they all got elected as NDA candidates, he said.
He said that any decision related to Shiv Sena pulling out of NDA will be taken after discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Joining NDA and then pulling out is not that easy. All MPs who have been elected and those who could not win have bagged votes of both Shiv Sena and BJP. It is the people’s mandate. A decision will be taken after discussions with Prime Minister Modi and considering what our supporters feel,” said Uddhav.
Thackeray had Monday announced that Geete would formally tender his resignation after Prime Minister Modi returns from the US.
The change in Shiv Sena’s position comes as a surprise as the party has been attacking the BJP post the split.
An editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna had dubbed those who broke the 25-year-old alliance as “enemies of Maharashtra.”
“Our other (Mahayuti) alliance parties wanted the Sena-BJP combine to continue. More than that, it was what the 11 crore people of Maharashtra wanted. Those who trampled these sentiments are enemies of Maharashtra. This (breaking of alliance) is an insult to the 105 Marathi martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra movement,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“It is unfortunate that the Sena-BJP alliance which for the last 25 years was bound by the Hindutva ideology has ended,” the Sena said.
However, the BJP has been insisting that it held no ill feelings towards the Shiv Sena. Even on the Geete issue, party leaders had said that it is for the Sena to decide whether to stay in the NDA or not.
Observers hold the view that Sena’s reluctance to leave the NDA stems from the reality that it shares power with the BJP in over a dozen municipal bodies, including the cash rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, in Maharashtra. A split from the NDA may mean that the party will lose control over them.
Interestingly, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has also hit out against the BJP for breaking ties with Shiv Sena.
“Do you think that the BJP can now be trusted after what they did to the Shiv Sena? Some BJP leader told me that they had planned the break-up long ago. Did Uddhav not understand this? If Balasaheb would have been alive, he would have broken the alliance a month ago itself,” Thackeray said, addressing his maiden election rally.
President’s Rule was imposed, on Monday, in poll-bound Maharashtra after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan resigned following the break-up of 15-year-old Congress-NCP alliance in the state.