The Shiv Sena on Wednesday suggested that its decision to chart a solo course in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections was a result of its erstwhile ally BJP’s method of expanding its base at the expense of its own partners. “BJP president Amit Shah has talked about his party winning 380 seats in the 2019 elections. The party will have to fight 500-550 seats to achieve that number. They will be able to do so only by sidelining the other parties of NDA. If the BJP can do this then why the hullabaloo over the Shiv Sena’s decision to fight Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on its own strength?” an editorial in the party mouth piece Saamana said.
The Sena, an ally of the BJP for over two decades, on Tuesday announced that it would contest the 2019 general polls and the Maharashtra Assembly elections on its own. At a meeting of the National Executive of the Shiv Sena in Mumbai, party leaders passed a resolution to contest all future elections on its own – almost exactly a year after Sena president Uddhav Thackeray called off seat-sharing talks with the BJP before the all-important Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls.
Affirming that it has decided on its way forward, the Sena cited an example of Chhatrapati Shivaji saying the Maratha warrior king went ahead to fulfil his pledge for “Swarajya” at a time people raised questions as to from where he would get resources to take on Mughal rulers.
The Sena does not need to worry about political wins and losses, said the editorial. “We have decided on our way forward,” it said. Recalling the oath of “Swarajya” taken by Shivaji Maharaj during the rule of Mughals, the Sena said, the Maratha warrior did not worry about the vast empire of the Muslim rulers and their unlimited sources of wealth when he himself did not have enough money to pay his army.
“Questions were then raised about how he would fulfil his pledge of Swarajya and who would back him. Yet, Shivaji Maharaj went ahead because he knew people would back him,” the editorial said. A similar opposition was faced by Sena chief (late Bal Thackeray) but he went ahead, knowing his ‘aim was to do good for people’.”