New Delhi: The Shiv Sena, alongside its attempts to form government with traditional rivals in Maharashtra, ripped into estranged ally BJP with another searing editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana. The Shiv Sena hit out at the ruling party for making its MPs sit in opposition in parliament and announcing the Sena’s exit from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unceremoniously, without discussion.
On Sunday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said Shiv Sena MPs were being assigned seats in the opposition benches in both houses, days after the party pulled out its lone minister at the centre, Arvind Sawant.
“BJP leader Pralhad Joshi has announced Shiv Sena’s removal from the NDA after it allied with Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra to form the government in the state. The Shiv Sena MPs were allotted seats on the opposition side in both houses of parliament. Those in the BJP who took this decision do not know about work done by Shiv Sena,” said an editorial in Saamana.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, allies for over three decades, fell out over power sharing in Maharashtra after fighting the state election together. The Shiv Sena refused to form government with the BJP without a guarantee of rotational chief ministership and a better share in ministries. Though the Shiv Sena’s minister quit the central government, the party stopped short of announcing its exit from the NDA. It has since been engaged in talks to form an unlikely alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
“When the BJP came into existence no party used to support it. When the NDA was formed many leaders who are now holding posts in the present government had no posts then, and some were not even born. We were a part of NDA when no one was willing align with the BJP and words like nationalist Hindutva were not liked by many,” the Saamana editorial said.
“When NDA was formed, important decisions were taken only after meeting the alliance partners under the leadership of George Fernandes and Lal Krishna Advani. We ask, who is the leader of NDA now,” the Sena challenged.
The editorial questioned whether other NDA alliance partners had been in the loop over the decision to remove the Sena from the coalition. When the BJP partnered with the People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, it never took the NDA’s permission, the Sena editorial pointed out.
“When Nitish Kumar, who abused Modi, and his Janata Dal United became a part of NDA, nobody asked us then. When everyone turned their back on BJP and Modi, Shiv Sena stood by it and now we are being thrown out of the NDA that too on Balasaheb’s death anniversary. When the whole country was paying tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray, who was one of the founders of NDA, on that occasion these people removed Shiv Sena from NDA,” said the article.