‘That (to ask Shiv Sena ministers in the BJP-SS government to quit) is Uddhavji’s call to take as the party’s president. He will plan appropriately. He is the only person to decide whether to take action or not.’
‘Looking at how the BJP has treated us, it seems that the BJP doesn’t want us as allies.’
Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena spokesperson, debunks rumours that the tenuous alliance between the party and the Bharatiya Janata Party has come to an end, stating that ‘no drastic step will be taken yet. Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com reports
The already strained relationship between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party faced another blow over the former’s aggressive stance against the hosting of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali and former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri in Mumbai.
However, despite reports stating that the two parties will sever ties, it looks like the tenuous alliance will continue for some more time.
“At the moment, such comments can only be termed as wild guesses,” Shiv Sena official spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told Rediff.com over the phone from Pune.
She categorically stated that only the party President Uddhav Thackeray would take a call on whether Shiv Sena ministers should resign from the state government and if the party should quit the alliance in Maharashtra.
“That (to ask ministers in the BJP-SS government to quit) is Uddhavji’s call to take as he is the party’s president. He will plan appropriately. He is the only person to decide whether we need to take action or not,” Gorhe said scotching newspaper reports that Thackeray would soon ask his ministers to resign from the government.
“As of now, you will have to just wait and watch. However, at this moment, at 8.30 in the morning, I don’t feel any drastic step will be taken,” she said.
Talking about the current disharmony between the Shiv Sena and BJP over Ghulam Ali’s event and Kasuri’s book launch, Gorhe said, “If the BJP was in the Opposition they would have taken the same principled stand as the Shiv Sena.
“Also, a former foreign minister of Pakistan coming to India and advising India’s prime minister on what needs to be done on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a mockery of the cultured democratic process. Isn’t that hypocritical of him (Kasuri)?” Gorhe said.
When asked if the Shiv Sena will finally break the alliance with the BJP over these two issues, Gorhe said, “In my opinion, I still feel that we will stay together if whatever was discussed before the alliance took shape is implemented in a fair and just manner. But looking at how the BJP has treated us when it came to the Indu Mills inauguration (and the Ghulam Ali concert and Kasuri’s book launch) it seems that the BJP doesn’t want us to be with them.”
Interestingly, the Shiv Sena spokesperson said that Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party is trying to create a wedge in the ruling alliance that will complete a year in office this month.
She added that the NCP is trying all it can to ensure that the Sena-BJP alliance is severed. However, there are a few in the BJP who do not approve of a BJP-NCP government. Explaining, Gorhe said, “It is actually a complex issue. There is a group within the NCP that is very keen on joining hands with the BJP in Maharashtra and vice versa. On the other hand, it is very difficult for the BJP to shake hands with the NCP at the state level for obvious reasons.”
For those who don’t remember, back in October 2014 while campaigning for his party during the Maharashtra elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dubbed the NCP as the ‘Naturally Corrupt Party’ in Sharad Pawar’s pocket borough of Baramati.
“NCP is a very shrewd party. In October last year, they offered their unconditional support to the BJP. The NCP is happy beating the drum at both ends. They speak good about us, openly as well as in private; if something happens tomorrow they will not think twice before accepting us (as their alliance partners). They have always shared cordial relationship with the Shiv Sena. Their politics, as of now, is focussed on diluting the cases of corruption against their leaders (by being in BJP’s good books) and getting more doles from this government for their sugar factories,” Gorhe further elaborated.
No Sena-BJP alliance for KDMC polls
Shiv Sena has decided to go it alone in the forthcoming Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation election and not have any tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party with which it shares power in the state and Centre.
The decision was taken on Monday night at a meeting of senior Sena leaders, a Sena leader said.
The development comes after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chided the Shiv Sena for bringing the state a bad name due to the protests against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.
Kalyan and Dombivali are satellite cities adjacent to Mumbai and the civic bodu is currently run by the Sena-BJP alliance.
Shiv Sena is all set to contest all 122 seats alone. The KDMC elections are to be held on November 1.
Maharashtra BJP President Raosaheb Danve said that the party had left the decision on the alliance issue with local BJP unit in Kalyan.
-- With inputs from PTI