Home > News > PTI
Will Thackeray dump BJP in Maharashtra?
October 04, 2006 23:20 IST
Last Updated: October 05, 2006 11:07 IST
The 22-year-old alliance between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharshtra may soon end.
Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray is expected to make a public statement on the continuation of the BJP-Sena alliance in Maharashtra, which has come under strain over the issue of Chimur assembly bypoll.
BJP's Maharashtra unit president Nitin Gadkari appeared to be the target of Sena's ire with its mouthpiece Saamna describing him as the nemesis of the alliance.
While late Pramod Mahajan was the architect of the Sena-BJP alliance, Gadkari, with his adamant stance on the Chimur bypoll has become its nemesis, Saamna said on Thursday.
"The boat of the Sena-BJP alliance is banging on the rocks called Gadkari," the paper said, holding him responsible for the strain in the Sena-BJP ties. While there was no confirmation from BJP sources on whether the party leaders will be meeting Thackeray to sort out the issue, Sena leaders said Thackeray was likely to make his views public on the issue on Thursday.
Top Shiv Sena leaders who met Thackeray on Wednesday night unanimously recommended that the party severe its ties with its saffron partner, Sena sources said on Thursday, adding that the meeting at Bal Thackeray's residence was attended by senior Sena leaders, including the party's executive president Uddhav Thackeray, Manohar Joshi and Subhash Desai.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut had even gone to the extent of saying: "Shiv Sena has split from BJP. It is our decision. We have not spoken to BJP."
BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, "This (snapping of ties with BJP) is not a decision of Shiv Sena. This is what they have suggested and it is for Balasaheb to take the decision. We are not going to publicly join issue with them."
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said, "Nobody informed us about the Sena's decision and whatever information we have is from the media. I do not think the Sena leadership will take any drastic decision unilaterally."
Raut said, "We have decided to break this alliance because we don't want to stay with BJP in Maharashtra. The decision is only because of Chimur seat. Traditionally, this seat is from Shiv Sena quota and we don't like BJP leaders claiming that seat for BJP."
BJP is putting up Ramesh Gajbhe, a former state minister and a past winner from the seat in Vidarbha region, as its nominee. However, Raut claimed that Sena was very strong in Chimur and that the party had a very strong candidate in Chimur.