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Shiv Sena, Congress to join hands?

With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly polls, Shiv Sena has elevated Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray as party leader. Aaditya will play a key role to strengthen the party ahead of the general and assembly election. Thus, Sena is grooming Aaditya to take over vital responsibilities for expanding the party’s foothold in Maharashtra. The party is planning to sever ties with its alliance partner BJP for contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. According to sources, Sena is likely to join hands with Congress ahead of the general election. Aaditya’s elevation has come a month after Rahul took charge of Congress president from his mother Sonia Gandhi. Thus by promoting Aaditya and Rahul for key posts both Sena and Congress are grooming youngsters to take over the reins of these political parties in future. People have too many expectations from Aaditya and Rahul as both of them have worked at the grass root level to gain experience and have amicably connected with masses.

Even though Sena’s ideology differs from Congress but the former has always praised the policies of Congress party. Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP had heaped praises on Rahul Gandhi after he was elected as Congress President. Raut had stated that Rahul had gained maturity and he is capable of leading the country. He took a jibe at BJP by saying that Modi wave had faded. Sena also lauded Rahul for Congress party’s impressive performance in the Gujarat assembly polls.

Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut said that Aaditya Thackeray was elevated as a party leader as people appreciated the work done by him as Yuva Sena president. “People wanted Aaditya to play significant role for the development of Shiv Sena hence he was promoted. It’s impossible that Sena will ever have an alliance with Congress. Uddhav Thackeray has clearly mentioned that Shiv Sena will contest polls alone and the party won’t have any tie up with either BJP or Congress,” he added.

During the 2014 assembly polls, Aaditya Thackeray had played a vital role pertaining to seat sharing discussion with BJP. He also actively campaigned for Sena during the BMC poll in January 2017.

Congress MLA Arif Naseem Khan said, that the statement that Sena going solo in 2019 Lok Sabha polls is rubbish. He said, “Since last four years Sena has been threatening to withdraw support to BJP but they failed to do so. They issue anti-BJP statements in media but at the same time they enjoy the power being in the government with them. I don’t think that Sena will break the alliance with BJP as they have stated yesterday.”

“Sena’s reluctance to oppose BJP’s proposal in any cabinet meeting just goes to show the party’s double standards. Just like BJP, Sena too is losing its foothold in the state and they are issuing these statements to display their existence among masses. If the party feels that government is doing wrong then they should withdraw support to it,” he added.

As Yuva Sena chief, Aaditya has taken up several causes in Mumbai. For instance, the recently opened 11-km cycling track is his brainchild. After the monsoon mayhem in Mumbai, Aaditya had urged the state government to impose ban on plastic in Maharashtra. He also has been pushing for the promotion of zero emission electric vehicles in the state.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, that the onus lies on Sena to take a decision to promote which leader for which position. He also said, “Aaditya Thackeray is one of the Shiv Sena party leaders now. As far as Sena having alliance with Congress is concerned, it’s impossible, as both share different ideologies. It sounds ridiculous when a party having alliance with the BJP led government declares to fight election singlehandedly without withdrawing their support to it. NCP will never have a tie up with Sena. Hypothetically, if Congress and Sena think to come together, it’s entirely the former’s decision about what they want to do.”

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