‘We Supported Hindutva When You Weren’t Even Born’: Sena’s Fresh Salvo at BJP Amid Maharashtra Logjam

‘We Supported Hindutva When You Weren’t Even Born’: Sena’s Fresh Salvo at BJP Amid Maharashtra Logjam

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday fired a fresh salvo at the BJP as ties between the former allies hit rock bottom, accusing the party of announcing the Sena’s ouster from NDA without any discussion.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said the party supported Hindutva “at a time when nobody touched it… when many of you were not even born”.

“If you thought we had gone against the NDA, why didn’t you have the courage to discuss it in an NDA meeting? Did the BJP seek NDA’s permission before coming together with Mehbooba Mufti or with Nitish Kumar?”

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also accused the BJP of throwing it out of the NDA on Balasaheb Thackeray’s death anniversary. “When everyone had gone against [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, Balasaheb was the one who protected him. And on his death anniversary, you throw the Sena out of NDA?”

The political turmoil in the state took a turn for the worse on Thackeray’s death anniversary on Sunday when BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was subjected to sloganeering.

The incident took place while Fadnavis was leaving Shivaji Park in the metropolis minutes after offering his respects to the leader. A group of Shiv Sena supporters were heard raising slogans in Marathi — “sarkar kunauchi. shiv sena chi (whose government? Shiv Sena’s)”. They also raised Fadnavis’ assembly poll campaign slogan: ‘I will be back (as CM)’ along with the Sena’s traditional ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai’ war cry.

Meanwhile, expressing confidence that there would only be roars of “Shiv Sena Zindabad” in Maharashtra, the Sena warned the BJP that it was ready to face all challenges. “If you have the courage, attack us. We are ready.”

The Sena and the BJP contested the October Assembly polls together and won 161 seats between them, before the Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s insistence on equal sharing of the chief ministerial tenure led to acrimony and stalemate in government formation.

On the eve of Winter Session of Parliament, the Sena refused to attend a meeting of NDA constituents, making its exit route clear. The seating arrangement of Shiv Sena MPs in both houses of Parliament have also been changed. They will now sit in the fifth row on the opposition side.

Following weeks of bitter political drama, the Sena is currently in the process of forming a non-BJP government with support from Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.

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