After the no-confidence motion in Parliament on Friday when the Shiv Sena abstained from supporting its oldest ally, the BJP, the acrimony between the two parties seems to rise.
Just a day prior to this no-trust motion, the BJP party President, Amit Shah had dialled the Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. BJP has then claimed that Sena was on board with them. Chandrakant Khaire, the party chief even issued a whip asking all its 18 MPs to support the NDA government. But, just before the motion was taken up in the Parliament, there was a change in stance. Uddhav instructed the party MPs to stay away from it.
The preparations have started for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Taking the cue from Sena’s stand on the no-confidence motion, Amit Shah asked his party workers to gear up for a solo fight in Maharashtra. This seemed to have irked the Sena chief who retaliated by saying, “I’m fighting for the common man’s dream, not for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s dream. I will hunt but don’t need to shoot from anyone else’s shoulder. Nor will I need a gun for the hunt. We don’t have only one friend. We are friends of the public.”
The rift between the Shiv Sena and BJP is coming out off and on since the 2014 Maharashtra elections. The allied partner claims that BJP is treating it poorly. In an interview published in party’s mouthpiece Saamana, Uddhav has expressed the party’s difference on a number of issues right from Hindutva to women’s safety. The party is not in line with many things like targeting the population that eats beef in the name of protecting the cows.
As the opposition parties are looking determined to ally together and keep BJP out of power in 2019 elections, Amit Shah has started preparing the strategy. Anticipating that Shiv Sena might alliance with Congress too, he has asked his party workers to start working in such a manner that even if that happens, the saffron colour still dominates in the state.