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In Twitter Attack, Shiv Sena Hints at Snapping Ties With BJP in Maharashtra

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI)

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI)

Party MP Sanjay Raut said the Sena does not want to share the blame for the BJP’s policies that had inflated petrol and diesel prices.


Vinaya Deshpande

Mumbai: Shiv Sena has once again dangled the exit sword over the NDA as it hinted at snapping ties with the BJP-led alliance in Maharashtra in a Twitter post on Monday.

“Wait and watch” was the message from the Sena camp as party leaders went into a huddle at Matoshree to take a call on whether it would pull out from the government. The main grouse this time are the high fuel prices.

Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut wrote on Twitter that the party does not want to share the blame for the BJP’s policies. He said the party cannot continue with a dispensation that is “fleecing poor people and has inflated petrol and diesel prices.”

Speaking to CNN-News18, he said that it has now become difficult to face people. “We have appealed to the BJP to control price rise. Being a part of the government does not mean we will support price hike," he said, adding that the question mark over the status of alliance needs to end. "Uddhav Thackeray is close to taking a decision,” Raut said.

Petrol prices have touched nearly a three-year high, which has led to demands that the government cut the excise duty. The BJP government at the Centre, however, has maintained that it does not plan to intervene to control prices.

It remains to be seen whether the Sena would follow through on its threat. The party has on several occasions in the past warned of an exit in veiled threats but has continued in its role as the junior partner in the state government.

The two parties had a bitter break-up just before the last Assembly polls in 2014, but joined hands again to form the government. The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party with 122 seats. The Shiv Sena was a distant second with 63 seats in the state where a party or an alliance needs a minimum of 145 seats to form the government. It had to settle to being a minor partner.

Earlier this year, BJP also made strong inroads into Shiv Sena bastion in Mumbai when it decided to go solo in the BMC polls. Shiv Sena now is entirely dependent on the BJP for its survival in the richest municipal corporation of the country.

In a bid to retain control, especially over Mumbai, the party has maintained pressure on the BJP and repeatedly warned that the government is on “notice period.” Diwakar Raote, the state

transport minister, had earlier this year said that the party’s MLAs “carry their resignation letters in their pockets.”

Sena has never shied from criticising the Devendra Fadnavis government and had supported the farm debt waiver. It had also opposed the stamp duty hike on conveyance and the gift deed to blood relations.

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