As the Narendra Modi-led government completed two years at the Centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) warring ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, chose to warn its senior partner of its might through its mouthpiece Saamana, while continuing to evaluate its own government like an external invigilator.
The front page of Saamana had an image of the Sena’s emblem, the tiger, strangulating a lion in an African jungle with a caption saying, “Going for the lion’s throat, tiger is the only king.”
Further, in its editorial, the Shiv Sena criticised the BJP-led government for its efforts at a dialogue with neighbouring Pakistan, inability to control rising prices, farmers’ suicides, and faltering on its promise of bringing back black money stashed in offshore accounts.
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The party, however, said it won’t be correct to judge the Modi government’s performance in two years when the public had elected the government for a five-year term. “It is not right to evaluate what the government has done and has not done in two years. The people of Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have independently done this evaluation. But one cannot link it to the threads of national policy,” Shiv Sena said in the editorial.
While the BJP made a foray in the Northeast by winning Assam and forming its first government in the state, the party failed to get much traction in the recently-concluded polls in Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, the party got one legislator elected, opening its account in that state.
The Shiv Sena, which has been known to play opposition from the treasury benches, also complained about schemes that the BJP-led government has rolled out in the last two years. The party said the Modi government had announced almost 40 schemes since it came to power, in reality people were aware of only about six or seven.
“Except for schemes like Jan Dhan, Swachh Bharat, and rural roads scheme, other schemes haven’t really reached the people. Of course, a country does not run only because of schemes. The previous government too had these schemes under some or the other name, but there was so much corruption that the nation’s state of affairs collapsed,” the Shiv Sena said in its editorial.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party, however, reserved praises for the PM, saying, “Prime Minister Modi’s leadership is stern and he is single-handedly running the chariot of the government.” While the prime minister’s multiple foreign visits often attract criticism, the Shiv Sena chose to defend him in this regard, saying with neighbours like Pakistan and China, India needed to go around making as many friends over the world as possible.