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Shiv Sena makes break with BJP official, says it will contest 2019 polls alone

At a meeting of the party’s national executive, Sena leaders passed a resolution to contest all elections independently, almost a year after their president Uddhav Thackeray called off seat-sharing talks with the BJP ahead of elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Updated: January 24, 2018 11:54 am
shiv sena, uddhav thackeray, indian express, shiv sena BJP, maharashtra BJP, lok sabha elections 2019, shiv sena bjp tussle Uddhav Thackeray with son Aditya at Shiv Sena National Executive Meeting on Tuesday. (Express Photo)

Launching a sharp attack on the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally for over two decades, announced Tuesday that it would contest the Lok Sabha elections and the Maharashtra assembly elections, both in 2019, on its own.

At a meeting of the party’s national executive, Sena leaders passed a resolution to contest all elections independently, almost a year after their president Uddhav Thackeray called off seat-sharing talks with the BJP ahead of elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Reacting to the announcement, made on the birth anniversary of Sena founder Bal Thackeray, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Davos that the BJP-Sena state government would complete its full term. Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shellar said the “loss will be for Sena” and that his party was ready to face polls “on its own strength”.

The Sena’s announcement came on a day the party re-elected Uddhav Thackeray as its chief and officially inducted his son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray into the Sena’s core leadership by assigning him the title of “neta”. Tuesday’s resolution, read out by Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut and seconded by Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, was an official confirmation of the Sena’s intent to break away from the BJP, after over three years of sharing power in Maharashtra in a fractious relationship.

Also read | BJP takes the split easy: If Shiv Sena was serious, it would have pulled ministers out

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Worli on Tuesday (Express Photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)

In the run-up to the assembly elections in 2014, the two decided to call off their alliance, but came together to tie up after the polls. In a 30-minute address to delegates at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Worli, Thackeray launched a frontal attack on the Centre and Prime Minister Modi.

“When leaders from outside visit India, they are taken to Ahmedabad. At a time when there is conflict in Kashmir, they should be taken to Lal Chowk, and you should fly the tricolour there. Why are you flying kites in Ahmedabad? People feel that they have a strong PM but a sovereign country’s PM is flying kites with other leaders. This is what pinches me,” Thackeray said.

Read | In Maharashtra alliance years, BJP outpaced Shiv Sena in poll growth

On Republic Day last year, addressing a gathering of party workers, Thackeray had declared that the party would contest all state elections on its own. On Tuesday, he reiterated that decision and added that the Sena would contest elections across the country on the issue of Hindutva.

Calling the Hindutva practised by other parties “adulterated”, he said, “Over the years, we have taken care of these political parties and made them grow. We never fought elections on our own because we did not want a split in Hindu votes. Today, unwanted people clinging on to Hindutva have climbed on our heads. We never fought elections outside Maharashtra but today I announce that Shiv Sena will fight elections in each state. Win or lose, we will not let go of Hindutva.”

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with his son Aditya at Worli on Tuesday (Express Photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)

Thackeray also targeted Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari’s comments on Indian Navy officers seeking homes in south Mumbai. “What Nitin Gadkari said made me very angry. He said that he was in power. He asked what work the Navy has in Mumbai and asked them to go to the border. Our forces are defending our borders and conducting surgical strikes, why are you taking credit for their work?” Thackeray said.
He questioned whether BJP leaders had it in them to pick up guns and guard the border.

Claiming that large sections of Indians believe that the BJP has come to power by manipulating electronic voting machines, he said the country’s economy was in dire straits. “Whenever elections come they say ‘Acche Din aayenge’ but have they come yet? We do not know if the country is going forward or whether it is going backward. Industries are shutting down, unemployment is increasing,” he said.

If cow slaughter is a crime, than telling lies to win elections should be punishable too, he said. “You ban cow slaughter, you should ban telling lies as well. If you make lying punishable, look at who all will end up behind bars,” Thackeray said. Contending that there was no difference between the current central government and the previous Congress-led UPA regime, he said the Shiv Sena could be a political alternative.

“In the Gujarat election, Congress went forward and the BJP slid. We are not happy or sad for either of them, but if there had been an alternative including a regional party, the people would have elected it instead. We need to fill this void,” he said. Thackeray also took on the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, alleging that it was spending money only on advertisements.

“The spending on schemes is zero and money is being spent on advertisements. If this government is running on advertisements, then we have a right to pull it down and bring in Shivshahi, at least in Maharashtra,” Thackeray said.
The party, meanwhile, also elevated Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, and MPs Chandrakant Khaire, Anant Geete and Anandrao Adsul, as “netas” to increase the number of leaders in its core leadership to 13.

Following the Sena’s decision, Chief Minister Fadnavis said, “Let us wait. They (Shiv Sena) have been saying many things… As of now, we (Shiv Sena and BJP) are in the government. This government will complete its full term, whatever it takes. I am confident of the next term also.” Mumbai BJP president Shellar struck a defiant note and said, “The BJP was ready for a pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena for the next elections. But they are talking of going to polls alone. If they don’t want an alliance, the BJP is prepared to face the polls on its own strength, so are the people. The loss will be for Sena. This is our evaluation based on ground reality.”

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  1. P
    Parth
    Jan 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm
    All the right minded allies of NDA would desert it in 2019. For want of a strong and united opposition we are heading for hung parliament or a Narsingh Rao like meek coalition.
    (3)(1)
    Reply
    1. B
      BHAGWAT GOEL
      Jan 24, 2018 at 11:11 am
      UDHAV THAKRE AND SANJAY RAWAT, WHY YOU JUST NOT LEAVE. JUMPING LIKE MONKEYS LOOSING ALL YOUR CREDIBILITY. PEOPLE NO LONGER SEE YOU AS BLACKMAILERS AND NO LONGER TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.
      (4)(7)
      Reply
      1. blackpower 666
        Jan 24, 2018 at 11:21 am
        ah! goel the hindutva hangman whose hanging ancestors go back all the way to 3000 BC! you wanted to hang all the students of JNU? have you started our hanging crusade?
        (4)(2)
        Reply
      2. Dipak Mehta
        Jan 24, 2018 at 10:57 am
        Thakres are low class goondas. The party was formed by Bal to extort money from Gujaratis, Punjabis and Marwadis. Loosing them will make BJP stronger than now. It’s now Gooda’s loss.
        (5)(5)
        Reply
        1. blackpower 666
          Jan 24, 2018 at 11:35 am
          maya kodnani? babu bajrangi? vinay katiyar? yama yogi? togadia? modi - murderous leaders leading an army of rapists, gangrapists, lynchers, mass murderers
          (7)(3)
          Reply
          1. R
            Ramesh
            Jan 24, 2018 at 9:11 pm
            Normally Muslims find hard to pronounce and say Hindu names because of their religion but with the exception while crticizing or blaming.
            (0)(0)
          2. blackpower 666
            Jan 24, 2018 at 11:36 am
            dont you love your fake father fakendarnath even more now that you finally know how corrupt he actually is?
            (4)(2)
            Reply
          3. Madan Gupta
            Jan 24, 2018 at 10:45 am
            BAAP ke Baad Beta aur Pota. Ye Dukandaari. Shiv Sena has all the time abusing BJP, but BJP is always busy eating it gracefully due to greed of power. BJP will stoop low to lick the feet of Aditya for power who was born yesterday. similarly SAD is abusing BJP in Punjab and contesting against it in Haryana making it defeat, but it is licking feet of Badals. Modi does not have guts to remove Harsimrat from cabinet, although her brother was involved in drug smuggling. BJP preferred to loose Sidhu an honest person and boldly welcomed defeat at Amritsar. This was a conspiracy by Badals. Again they have made announcement of Haryana to scare Modi to make Harsimrat seat safe in cabinet. BJP wake up and keep away from opportunist Badals and immediately kick out Harsimrat.
            (7)(4)
            Reply
            1. blackpower 666
              Jan 24, 2018 at 10:51 am
              it is not in Modi's nature to kick out the corrupt -BJP WELCOMES THE CORRUPT WITH OPEN ARMS - >On 03 November 2017, in West Bengal, Mukul Roy, one of the founding leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC), officially joined BJP. This decision comes a week after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had summoned Mukul Roy along with three other TMC leaders in connection with the Narada sting case >In August, 2015, Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former Congress leader from Assam, who supposedly has a good hold in North East state politics, joined BJP. He is currently serving as the Assam Health Minister in the BJP Government in the state. It is surprising that just one month before his defection, in July 2015, BJP had alleged that he was a ‘key suspect’ in Guwahati water scam which came to light in 2010.>Khandu was facing charges of “corruption and criminal conspiracies” Pema Khandu, along with 32 MLAs of Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) joined the BJP leading to form govt in arunachal
              (8)(1)
              Reply
              1. Dipak Mehta
                Jan 24, 2018 at 11:00 am
                You must be Congress, I mean Papu, Goon.
                (2)(5)
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                1. blackpower 666
                  Jan 24, 2018 at 11:09 am
                  no I am a homo sapien not a hindutva moron which is u a dungeating dolt, p!ss drinking poltroon, illiterate imbecile inbred idi ot, dungbrained dimwit fascist from the prototypical fascist state of gujrat
                  (7)(2)
                  1. blackpower 666
                    Jan 24, 2018 at 11:14 am
                    your fake father fakendranath showed his corrupt colours in 1998 your dungbrained dimwit The very founding stone of Modi’s career as an administrator was based on his successful role in forming a corrupt coalition . Modi allying with Sukh Ram -(1998), state elections were held in Himachal Pradesh - elections threw up a hung assembly with both BJP and Congress winning 31 seats each while Himachal Vikas Manch (HVM) won 5 seats. HVM was led by the Sukhram, the former Telecom Minister, who was arrested in 1996 for disproportionate asset case. In 1996, the CBI seized from Sukhram’s official residence Rs. 3.6 crores
                    (6)(1)
                2. Surya Prakash Sharma
                  Jan 24, 2018 at 10:24 am
                  MANY WILL BET THAT NO SHIVSENA MAN WILL SEE THE INSIDE OF LOK SABHA IN 2019 IT IS AS CLEAR AS THE DAY THAT SHIVSENA WILL BEAT THE KHANgress IN THE RACE FOR EXTINCTION AS THE DEMOCRACY MATURES IN INDIA ALL BAAAP-BETA and MAA-BETA PARTIES WILL BE MADE TO SIT AT HOME SEE THE NEW DAWN RAYS APPROACHING
                  (7)(6)
                  Reply
                  1. blackpower 666
                    Jan 24, 2018 at 10:49 am
                    and that day in not far off when every hindu in hindustan (as mo bhagwat famous said all are hindus here to wipe off traces of contamination of muslim jain buddhist sikh et al) will perforce have to dedicate a room in their house to house holy gaumatha and at least five studbulls to satisfy her harvest gaumatha dung and instant gangajal ie holy gaumatha mutra as the saffron scourge transforms india's economy into gaunomics with the twin prongs of gobarnomics and mutranomics. as always the brahmin tryanny will ensure that the dalits are forced to go down the manholes, clean suryaprakash's faeces, used napkins n condoms, and his carcass too. dalit girls are always available for fun and pleasure for as mo bhagwat famously remarked -rapes do not happen in bharat
                    (5)(3)
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