Strained BJP-Shiva Sena relations taken a new turn with the later has openly opposed to accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi as `PM face’for 2019 polls and declared that it is ready to support if union minister Nitin Gadkari emerges as `PM face’.
Devendra Fednavis government in Maharashtra has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for Balasaheb Thackery memorial, on his century year. Though the memorial issue was pending before the government since some time, the decision was taken yesterday in its efforts to cement delicate BJP-Shiva Sena relations.
In view of falling strength in Hindi heartland and also alliance between Congress and NCP confirmed, the BJP is badly needed Shiva Sena to keep up its MPs number from the state. BJP is hoping gesture of Balasaheb memorial will cement their relations with Shiva Sena.
The memorial will be built at Mayor’s Bungalow ( Mahapaur Niwas) near Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai. The work of constructing the memorial will be completed under the guidance of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
However, Shiva Sena made it clear that memorial may be different from poll alliance. Moreover, it has indicated that alliance may not be possible as long as Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues as its PM face. In a surprising move, it offered to allay with BJP, if union minister Nitin Gadkari emerges as the PM face for 2019 polls.
Sena leader Sanjay Raut predicted a hung house in the general polls and said that the BJP only thinks about itself which is why ‘we are also thinking about ourselves’. The leader yet again made it clear that the word ‘alliance’ does not exist in Sena’s dictionary. However, he asserted that the party will support Gadkari if he comes out to be the PM face.
This is not the first time that the Sena has hit out at the BJP despite being part of the government in the state and the Centre. At several occasions, its leaders have often said they would contest the upcoming polls on their own. Both the parties have been at loggerheads since many months.
Earlier this month, the BJP ally supported the Opposition demand in Lok Sabha for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale issue. On the other hand, Amit Shah, in a veiled warning to the Sena, had said that if an alliance is forged, the party will ensure victory for its allies, but if it did not, the party will defeat its former allies in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.