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Saffron alliance under strain
Vilas Tokale in Mumbai | July 02, 2007 13:54 IST
The Hindutva alliance in the state is under strain following Bal Thackeray's decision to support rival UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil.
After its decision to back Patil evoked allegations of betrayal from BJP, the Sena has gone on the offensive, saying 'nobody need teach us Hindutva'.
This was after BJP charged the Sena with deviating from the Hindutva agenda by not supporting NDA-supported candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
It was not the issue of Hindutva but the question of supporting a Marathi person who has got an opportunity to become President for the first time since Independence.
The Sena supremo Bal Thackeray himself made it clear that the decision to support Patil was because she was a 'Marathi manoos' (Marathi person) and 'what else could be befitting than having a Marathi as President when the state celebrates its golden jubilee in 2010'.
There were ample indications on the Sena's mood even before the party announced its support to Patil on June 25.
The Sena mouthpiece Saamna had even front-paged a detailed write-up on the 'cordial' ties between the Sena chief and Patil's family.
Now, after the Sena announced that it would help enthrone the first Maharashtrian in Rashtrapati Bhawan, BJP's top leader in the state Gopinath Munde, who is also the party's national general secretary, said the Sena has betrayed his party by not backing Shekhawat.