The Shiv Sena continued to push the boundaries with BJP on Sunday and warned its ally that it had the “remote control of power” in Maharashtra despite securing fewer seats in the recently held assembly elections.
“The Sena won fewer seats this time, 56 compared to 63 in 2014, but it has the remote control of power,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut wrote In his column ‘Rokhthok’ in the party’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
During the first Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra, between 1995 to 1999, the term “remote control” was regularly used for and by late party patriarch Bal Thackeray to refer to the chain of command in the dispensation.
“The dream that the Shiv Sena will drag itself behind the BJP is busted (after poll results). A cartoon showing a tiger (Sena’s identity) holding a lotus (BJP’s symbol) in its hand tells a lot about the current scenario. Not taking anyone for granted is the message,” Raut, who is the executive editor of Saamana and also the chief whip of the party in Parliament, wrote.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has demanded a ’50-50′ formula with the BJP in the new government after the Assembly elections returned the BJP with a weaker tally. The BJP won 105 seats and the Sena 56 in the just concluded elections.
Upping the ante against the saffron party, Sanjay Raut said the poll results were the outcome of the BJP’s “unethical thoughts” to lure those from Opposition parties into the saffron fold.
“The BJP’s strategy of contesting 164 seats and winning 144 of them was rejected by voters. The election result is the defeat of unethical thoughts of increasing the tally by getting key Congress-NCP leaders to join the BJP, by luring them or threatening them,” the column read.
Raut also took on NCP turncoat and BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale, who was trounced by NCP’s Srinivas Patil in the Satara Lok Sabha bye-elections. The Sena leader said Bhosale’s defeat was a message to those who were assuming that they could “do whatever they wanted” to win the polls.
“Those whose heads are in the clouds will end up like Udayanraje was the message of the 2019 assembly polls,” The Shiv Sena leader said.
Raut also claimed that people did not like comments like “ending the Pawar pattern”, and the dislike was expressed through the ballot, especially in rural areas where the opposition did well.
“The Shiv Sena stopped the BJP’s plans of forming a government on its own in the state in 2014. In 2019, it was Sharad Pawar who did the same,” he said.
In his first meeting with the party’s newly elected legislators at his Matoshree residence on Saturday, Uddhav Thackeray is reported to have said that the Sena Was aiming to hold the CM chair for half of the government’s five-year term and that if the BJP doesn’t relent to its demand, the Sena could explore other options. The BJP won 105 seats and the Sena 56 in the just concluded elections.