Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP’s defeat in Delhi assembly elections is perceived in the saffron party as Sena’s political ploy to enhance the bargaining in centre and state.
Highly placed sources in the state BJP said, “The BJP’s debacle in Delhi assembly elections is seen as an opportunity by the Sena to scale up its demand for greater power share in centre.”
A senior central BJP functionary said, “We understand Sena and BJP are two different political parties and we are bound to criticise each other on certain policy issues or electoral politics. However, Thackeray’s criticism against Modi may be a tactical move to reassert Sena’s upmanship in state and centre.”
The BJP leader admitted, “The electoral debacle in Delhi has provided the much needed weapon to Sena to question Modi’s magic.”
The state BJP has decided to cautiously tackle the Sena. In a two pronged strategy, the party has made it clear that cabinet ministers in government should not engage in any political bout with Sena. And BJP leaders who are not in government should give befitting reply whenever there is an attack against its central leaders.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve lead the attack saying, “I am aghast that someone who is our alliance partner has expressed happiness over Kejriwal tsunami.” Danve was replying to Uddhav’s statements when he said, “Tsunami is bigger than wave (Modi).”
Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar said, “It is strange that Shiv Sena which is part of the government at centre and state has attacked Modi. If they have problems they can walk away.”
Ever since the formation of NDA government in centre, Modi has not paid attention to Sena’s demand for an additional cabinet rank along with a Minister of State (MOS) in NDA government. Anant Geete is the lone Shiv Sena member in the Union Cabinet.