BJP-Shiv Sena: New dimensions to old friendship

(P Ravi)

New Delhi, November 9: The changed political equations and the non-compromising stand by the Modi-led BJP government have given newer dimensions to the old friendship of BJP and Shiv Sena. Even as the uncertainty over the alliance in Maharashtra continues, BJP had asked for suggesting Shiv Sena nominees, to be inducted into the newly expanded cabinet. Anil Desai and Suresh Prabhu, who was BJPa��s chosen Sena nominee, were suggested. And it almost seemed like all love is not lost between the two parties.

Anil Desai did arrive in Mumbai on Sunday morning, but he was not present during the breakfast meeting when Narendra Modi met the likes of Pariker, Rudy, Rathore and Babul Supriyo. Shiv Sena has earlier declared that they wouldna��t be attending the swearing in ceremony of the new members, if their nominee is denied cabinet berth and Anil Desai was indeed called back as Sena felt slighted at being offered Minister of State for their candidate. Rebel MP Suresh Prabhua��s formal induction into BJP was like rubbing salt on the wounds.

In view of BJP repeatedly ignoring the demands by Sena, Uddhav Thackeray met his party members and later announced that they will sit in the opposition of BJP takes NCP support. He said, “We will follow the Hindutva agenda even if the BJP goes with the NCP,” and added, “I am not a slave to power. If the BJP and NCP join hands, we won’t hesitate to vote against them.” And though the doors are not closed on alliance yet, Shiv Sena refuses to settle for anything less. We will wait for a couple of days more a�� says Uddhav. A�Sena has been waiting for some time now for a positive signal from BJP to participate in Fadnavis government, to no avail.

Meanwhile Anant Geete of Shiv Sena continues to be a part of Modi cabinet and the BJP-Shiv Sena combine continue to rule over various municipalities including Mumbai. When asked whether this would continue a�� he said, “We will take the right decision at the right time.”

Sena gave enough hints that they want their nominee to either be made Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra or given key portfolio like Home or Finance. However, going by the recent happenings, Modi does not seem to be in the mood to accept conditional alliance, especially in the wake of NCPa��s unconditional support. Does that mean curtains down for the 25-year-old friendship? Well, it is a matter of a couple of days when we shall know!

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