December 12, 2018 10:01:01 am
Leaders and members of BJP and Shiv Sena are confused over the fact that whether the two parties will strike a pre-poll alliance before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. So, they have decided to restrain themselves from sharp attacks against each other.
Earlier, the Sena used to attack the BJP multiple times, but after the Maratha Reservation Act came into being, the Sena, especially its mouthpiece, Saamana, has toned down its attack on BJP and the Chief Minister. Besides the Act, the Sena also celebrated after Transport Minister, Diwakar Raote, who is a Sena leader, announced that the state government would provide jobs to the relatives of those Maratha youths who died during the agitation.
“There has been a change in Sena approach towards BJP, especially after the Maratha Reservation Act, and also the kind of arrangements BJP’s government made in Uttar Pradesh for Uddhav’s visit,” said a Sena leader. He added that because of this, there was confusion among the rank and file of the party whether the alliance would take place.
“The party has been attacking BJP and its policies, but there has been a softening of the stance,” a Sena leader said.
Asked about the publicity bid of Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge, apparently a BJP aspirant for Shirur constituency, Shiv Sena MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil said, “I think Mahesh Landge is preparing for the Assembly elections and not for Lok Sabha elections.”
Mahesh Landge’s brother, Kartik Landge, said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had told them that there was a possibility of a tie-up with the BJP. “And that is why we are not attacking any Sena leader.”
In Maval constituency, Sena MP Shrirang Barne and BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap last month indulged in a war of words through newspaper columns. But that has stopped. Pimpri-Chinchwad’s BJP general secretary, Sarang Kamtekar, said: “We never attacked the Sena. We always retaliated when some charges were levelled against us.”
Barne said the issue of a political alliance can only be answered by the party chief.
BJP state spokesperson, Madhav Bhandari, said, “BJP has always wanted to form an alliance with the Sena. We don’t want our votes to be divided. The ball is in the Sena’s court.”
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