At the internal meeting of the party, Thackeray also took to task his own Sena ministers arguing they cannot ignore the work of their own party’s elected members in the state Assembly and Council. In the Fadnavis Cabinet of 39 ministers, Shiv Sena is represented by 12 ministers.
According to sources, Sena MLAs and MLCs complained against the Fadnavis government to the Sena president. The uniform grievance was that their work was not being done by the BJP ministers in the government.
Justifying the disappointment against the BJP-led government, Thackeray said, “I will meet Fadnavis. I will surely raise these issues with him. The government will have to give top priority to the work of our members.”
Although Thackeray did not threaten to withdraw Sena support, the tone and tenor at the meeting was against secondary treatment meted out to Sena members by the BJP in the government.
A senior MLA said, “Sena members in Assembly and Council revealed how BJP ministers were not doing their work.” After listening to everybody, Thackeray warned his own ministers to ensure their party members’ work is not ignored.
He said, “If the work of our members is not done what is the use of this government.” The decision to join the government was to ensure people’s work is done, he asserted.
The BJP-Sena conflict comes in the middle of the ongoing monsoon session. Last week, Thackeray had hosted a dinner for Fadnavis.
The political managers in the Sena said, “Thackeray’s tough talking is to address his own party members’ concerns. It is also part of pressure tactics.”
Ahead of the division of 54 corporations, the Shiv Sena wants to control Mhada and Cidco. They also have sought control over Siddhivinayak Temple Trust.
A BJP cabinet minister said, “By now we are used to Sena’s gimmicks. Fadnavis has never ignored Sena. If there is any issue related to public welfare it has always got the highest priority. We don’t know what work Sena members are complaining about.” The BJP has always treated Sena as equal partners. This is evident in the way the chief minister treats all Sena cabinet ministers, he added.
Earlier, Thackeray, through in-house paper Saamna attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for soft pedalling on Pakistan. “There is a lot of gap between words and action. Instead of showing haste to capture power in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, it would have been better to tackle problems in Jammu and Kashmir,” it stated.