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Amit Shah Made Several Calls Before Trust Vote, But Uddhavji Did not Receive Any of Them: Shiv Sena

In an embarrassment to the NDA, the Shiv Sena, a key constituent, decided to stay away from the debate on the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party after first claiming that it would support the government.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:July 21, 2018, 10:41 AM IST

Mumbai: Two days after the BJP leaders in Delhi claimed that BJP chief Amit Shah had spoken to Uddhav Thackeray and had convinced him to oppose the no-confidence motion, top Shiv Sena sources confirmed that Uddhav Thackeray did not have a word with Amit Shah in the last two days.

“It is true that Amit Shah called him several times. Just yesterday (the day of no-confidence motion) itself, there were at least five calls. One of them was from the Parliamentary committee office of the party. But Uddhavji did not receive any of those calls,” a senior Shiv Sena leader told CNN-News18.

When asked about the BJP’s claim that it had spoken to Shiv Sena and had convinced it to support the former during the no-confidence motion, the Sena leadership rubbished it.

“We have had no word with the BJP leaders. We never committed to supporting them,” a top leader said.

In an embarrassment to the NDA, the Shiv Sena, a key constituent, decided to stay away from the debate on the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party after first claiming that it would support the government it was part of at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

Hours after Congress president Rahul Gandhi spoke in parliament, the Shiv Sena rushed to applaud his speech and the hug that has been sharply criticised by the BJP and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The first hint that all was not as it should be in the alliance came in an editorial in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, which questioned the mandate with which Narendra Modi came to power, alleging that elections were won through money, misuse of power and tampering with electronic voting machines.

“The BJP has the numbers. The motion is not for bringing down the government. It is to whip the government publicly over its sins. In fact, there are question marks over the way this government has won the majority. The party in question shouldn’t sing songs of majority. Immense money power, muscle power and manipulation of EVMs is the three-point secret of their success. What exists in the country today is fake democracy.”

When questioned about the whip issued by the Shiv Sena a day before the no-confidence motion, the leader clarified on it.

“The BJP had sent the draft to all the allies. Our leaders did not know this was about the no- confidence motion. We just typed and signed the document. This signed document was then leaked by the BJP to claim that we will support them. Uddhavji had never directed the party leadership to issue any whip. There was no question of doing so,” a senior Shiv Sena leader said.

When asked if any action will be taken against Chandrakant Khaire, chief whip, for signing the whip without reading it, the Sena leader said, “It wasn’t Khaire’s fault. It was someone else’s fault. There is no question of taking any action against Khaire.”

The Shiv Sena has repeatedly said that it will be fighting the 2019 election alone.

The NDA government though sailed through the no-confidence motion against it in the Lok Sabha after a nearly 12-hour debate that became a Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi show.

The government got the support of 325 members, while 126 backed the motion with 451 MPs present in the House. The final tally of the NDA was higher than the 314 figure projected by the party’s floor managers as it got the support of AIADMK, which had been sitting on the fence.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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