The BJP-Shiv Sena tussle continues in Maharashtra even though there are officially allies. The tussle is a long term development, where the leadership position of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra has been replaced with BJP taking the center stage. This swapping of positions has become a hard pill to take for the Sena. They don’t want BJP to be too comfortable in their role of being the big brother. Moreover, there are a number of pending issues, such as the greater representation of the Shiv Sena MPs in the ministerial berths at the center. The result of such bickering is the scathing attack of the Sena against BJP in the mouthpiece newspaper, Saamana.
Shiv Sena, in fact, refused to accept that anything good has been done by the Modi government. “Some important and big projects were started by the previous government and they were just being inaugurated and renamed with vigour,” said an editorial column in Saamana. It cited the examples Chenani-Nashri tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir and Bhupen Hazarika Dhola Sadiya bridge in Assam. Thus, they tried to undermine the taking of credit by the Modi government in relation to the important projects they are doing.
Sena also censured the demonetization drive carried out by BJP, a move that has been given credit to have been responsible for the massive winning of BJP in Uttar Pradesh. The Saamana has blamed job cuts and nose diving of the IT sector to the demonetization drive. The Sena mouthpiece further said that they lacking of the loan availability of the farmers from the cooperative banks is because of the demonetization move. The booming stock market, it said, is just eyewash and the farmers in the country are languishing because of the economic policies of the central government.
“Who gave the RBI the right to throw into dustbin the hard earned money of farmers?” Saamana asked.
As the cracks are widening between the BJP and Shiv Sena, the question remains whether they can they run the Maharashtra government jointly, or will they fall apart. Indian National Congress is waiting in the wings to grab this opportunity in Maharashtra that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should be concerned about. Probably, the big brother BJP has to give more leeway to Sena to contend their demands and soften their angst.