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Shiv Sena to go it alone in 2019 elections

Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray was also elevated into the top tier of Shiv Sena's leadership hierarchy as he has been made a member of party's National Executive.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: January 23, 2018 4:28:16 pm
Uddhav Thackeray at Shiv Sena’s national executive meet in Mumbai. (Source: Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday announced it will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Maharashtra Assembly elections on its own, effectively bringing down the curtain on its long-standing alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken at the party’s national executive meet organised at the Worli Sports Complex in Mumbai.

The party resolution, which was the first that was read out by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, stated that the Sena would fight both the Lok Sabha as well as assembly elections on its own. The Sena also passed a resolution seeking calling for a complete loan waiver to farmers in state as well as implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan Commission for agrarian reforms.

Addressing the gathering, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said the party will henceforth contest in all states on the issue of Hindutva.

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He also launched a blistering attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who had recently blamed the navy for throwing up roadblocks before development projects in Mumbai.

“I was furious after hearing what Nitin Gadkari said about the navy. You want them to stay on the border but you do not have any qualms about taking credit when a surgical strike happens,” Thackeray said at the party’s National Executive meet in Mumbai.

He claimed that arrogance had crept into the country’s top leadership.

“People think that we have a strong leader. But we have a leader who is interested in flying kites with foreign leaders in Ahmedabad. Why are these visiting leaders taken to Gujarat and not to Kashmir or other states,” Thackeray said.

Thackeray also stated that the common perception amongst the public these days was that parties are coming to power because of EVM frauds.

Uddhav Thackeray handing over the ceremonial sword to son Aaditya Thackeray who was elevated to the position of Sena leader. (Source: Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

READ | Uddhav Thackeray attacks PM Modi: He is interested in flying kites with foreign leaders

In 2014, the BJP and Sena contested the parliamentary elections individually but reached a post-poll understanding. The Sena shares an uneasy alliance with the BJP and inspite of sharing power with its larger partner in Maharashtra it has not refrained from openly criticizing the current BJP leadership, especially PM Modi.

Sena, had for the first time, decided to snap ties with the BJP and contest last year’s BMC election alone. Despite a tough contest, it had successfully retained the country’s richest municipal body. The BJP finished second but did not stake claim to the mayor’s post.

Meanwhile, Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray was elevated to the top tier of Shiv Sena’s leadership after he was made a member of the party’s National Executive.

Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, MPs Chandrakant Kaire, Anant Geere and Anatrao Adsul were also elevated as leaders of the party, taking the number of designated leaders to 13.

Currently, apart from veterans like Manohar Joshi, Sudhir Joshi, Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote, four others are holding the posts of Sena leaders.

Uddhav Thackeray criticised the BJP’s top leadership in his speech. (Source: Express photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

In December last year, Aaditya had announced that the Shiv Sena will go national.

“Firstly, we are going national. As we fought elections in Gujarat and Goa, we will fight elections in Rajasthan next year and (in) Madhya Pradesh. In UP, Bihar and Kashmir, we have received a good number of votes. We may contest in Kerala too,” he had said in an interview to The Indian Express.

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