AT A time when the relation between the ruling ally partners in the state are said to be in choppy waters, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, during the annual Dussehra rally in Shivaji Park, assured that his party will not part ways with the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state. However, this did not stop him short of criticising the Centre for their “soft” attitude towards Pakistan and the failure to control inflation in the country.
Terming the relation between the BJP and the Shiv Sena as “extremely cordial”, he hit out at the critics who have been asking him when the Sena plans to walk out of the alliance: “Aamcha sansar changla challa ahe. Kashala baher padu? (Our family is happy and healthy. Why should we walk out)”.
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Though Thackeray’s categorical explanation to respect the public mandate to ensure smooth functioning of the government in Maharashtra and the Centre has provided a new lease of life to the BJP-led government, it has come as a setback for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The NCP was allegedly waiting to exploit the political uncertainty to its advantage. Not surprisingly, Thackeray’s sarcasm against NCP president Sharad Pawar conveyed he had understood his “shrewd power play”. “I don’t have to take lessons from Pawar,” Thackeray warned.
During his one-hour speech, he even said that he said also insisted Devendra Fadnavis to avail the services of his ministers in the state assembly, signalling that his party was more than willing for greater levels of partnership. Of the total of 288 seats in the state assembly, the BJP has 122 ministers and the Sena, 63.
The speech in the backdrop of the acrimony that was witnessed over the Sena’s renewed aggression over the BJP’s stand on Pakistani artistes like Ghulam Ali and Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri only makes it evident that Thackeray has decided to pursue a two-pronged strategy.
While on the one hand he reaffirmed Sena’s commitment to the BJP-led state government and the Narendra Modi-led government in the Centre, he also did not mention all India BJP president Amit Shah or, in fact, Narendra Modi even once.