Probably, for the first time in recent times BJP’s longest –time allay Shiva Sena came out praising the leadership qualities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, incidentally a day after BJP reached seat sharing agreement with it, accepting its conditions.
In recent times, on several times, it has praised leadership qualities of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, denouncing Modi. But, now, it said that Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi cannot be compared with the leadership of Modi.
Responding to opposition criticism of the seat-sharing pact, the Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said questions on tie-up are less in the minds of people but much more among political opponents as these “insects” will be crushed due to the alliance.
Referring to Modi’s stewardship, it said, “Rahul Gandhi’s book of development has improved much since 2014 and he has Priyanka’s help. However, they can’t be compared with Modi’s leadership.”
The Marathi daily said BJP president Amit Shah himself came to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s suburban residence ‘Matoshree’. Thackeray told him what he had to and it was finally decided to give the alliance another chance.
Maintaining that there was no enmity between the Sena and the BJP, it said if (Bihar chief minister and JD-U head) Nitish Kumar could join the NDA despite differences of opinion with Modi and if the Congress could forge a “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance), then the Sena has always been a part of the BJP-led coalition.