Firing yet another salvo at ally BJP, Shiv Sena on Monday taunted it over the issue of supporting Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi saying backing him would be a “sin” as it would be an endorsement of “black era in politics”.
“Nobody should indulge in this sin of backing for political interest someone who has publicly said he accepts commission,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said. “Nitish Kumar has the backing of 130 legislators and yet he (Manjhi) is trying to get BJP support. BJP is pitting Manjhi against Nitish Kumar,” it said.
The Sena’s latest attack on BJP comes two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar met at the latter’s home turf Baramati. NCP had announced unconditional outside support to BJP when it emerged single largest party in October 15 Assembly polls.
Earlier, the Shiv Sena had said the “broom—wielding” AAP had reduced the BJP to “dirt” in the Delhi elections and virtually demanded that Modi accept the blame for it. The Sena said that “nobody should justify the current goings on in Bihar politics. Manjhi has said he gets commission for development work. What he has said is a fact in politics. A CM who accepts he gets commission is trying to win majority in Assembly with BJP support,” Sena said.
Manjhi exceeded his limits by announcing reservations for Dalits and Mahadalits in government contract tender process, Sena said. Manjhi while addressing a function, had said, “engineers and technocrats used to escalate cost of bridge construction projects and used to pay some share to contractors and some to me even.”
He later said he uttered “symbolic” things to highlight that money used to come to even such a high level but actually he did not take money as CM. The sharp exchanges between BJP and Shiv Sena have brought to the fore the underlying unease in their relations despite a patch-up.
The two had parted ways before the Maharashtra Assembly election. Contesting separately, BJP emerged as the single largest party in the assembly but fell short of a majority, while Sena finished second. Shiv Sena briefly occupied the main Opposition’s space in the House before realigning with BJP and joining the government.