Shiv Sena seems to have finally found a common ground with the BJP in order to announce a pre-poll alliance for the Lok Sabha polls. The suicide bombing in Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF jawans appears to have brought the two parties together.
A senior minister in the state Cabinet said on Friday that the BJP has conveyed to Shiv Sena Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to give a befitting reply to Pakistan, which it perceives is soft peddling against terror outfits. “The pre-poll alliance is now a certainty. The formal decision is expected early next week,” the minister added.
The BJP has promised to address all the critical issues raised by Sena president Uddhav Thackeray during his hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, said sources.
A day after the meeting, both Fadnavis and Uddhav spoke in one voice on the devastating attack in Kashmir. Uddhav told mediapersons in Mumbai, “It is high time we act and not just engage in hard talks. The government should teach a lesson through counter attack.”
Fadnavis, who was at Sangli, added: “Pakistan is playing a dirty game and the PM has assured to give a befitting reply.”
Sources in the BJP said that despite Sena’s attacks against the Modi government over the last four years, “the Sena leadership has conveyed it cannot go separately when it comes to national interest in fight against Pakistan and terrorism”.
According to BJP insiders, BJP president Amit Shah may visit Uddhav at Matoshree during his scheduled Mumbai trip next week.
“Broadly, there are couple of issues that BJP has conceded. The Sena wants Modi government not to take the terror strike lying down. Secondly, Sena wants
BJP to promise it will not go ahead with the controversial Nanar oil refinery project in Konkan district. The government should also push more reforms along with higher financial investments to tackle the farmers unrest in drought-striken Maharashtra,” the BJP minister said.
A BJP leader said, “The PM has promised to counter the terror strike. The Indian government has already withdrawn the most favoured status of Pakistan.” On Nanar oil refinery, which promises Rs 3 lakh crore investments and one lakh jobs, BJP has conveyed to Sena its decision to stay the entire process.
Party insiders said that in regard to Sena’s demand regarding farmers, the Centre has already sanctioned a compensation package worth Rs 4,714 crore for the 151 drought-stricken talukas. The state government, too, has started disbursement of Rs 2,900 crore from its treasury to compensate farmers for crop loss due to natural calamities.
Political observers said unlike in the past, Sena mouthpiece Saamna has turned down the volume against BJP in the last four days. This is perceived as a signal of a coming truce between the warring allies.