Shiv Sena hits out at BJP, asks it to follow ‘alliance dharma’

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Mumbai, Mar 13: BJP today came under fresh attack from its ally Shiv Sena, which slammed it for creating a “trust deficit” by hobnobbing with Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the run-up to the polls and asked it to mend its ways and follow “alliance dharma”.

In a hard-hitting editorial in mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, party president Uddhav Thackeray asked BJP to adhere to the “dharma” of the alliance and cited example of Bal Thackeray “who had rejected the offer of BJP rebel Shakarsinh Waghela in 1996 to form government of Shiv Sena in Gujarat”.

“…Narendra Modi‘s rise in Gujarat was possible because Bal Thackeray stuck to the dharma of alliance and did not align with Waghela…The BJP leaders who tried to reach out to the Sena deserters should read this history,” Uddhav said. He also stressed that BJP wanted Modi to become prime minister of the country but for that “BJP needs to create an atmosphere of trust”.

“Our ideology of Hindutva is not to gain power. We don’t don the garb of Hindutva in hunger for power and there is no room for betrayal in Hindutva. Our ideology is Hindutva and will continue to be so irrespective of anyone being with us or not,” the editorial said. Uddhav said, “If BJP wants power at the Centre with Modi as prime minister, it should create an atmosphere of trust. You don’t get trust if you don’t create one yourself for others,” he said.

The Sena president also said his party was capable of fighting its own battles. “If you sidestep and betray friends who have stood by you through thick and thin, you will be self-inflicting the label of betrayal,” Uddhav said. He referred to some reports appearing in media, saying the BJP has adopted a new policy of “tying up with one regional party and carrying out backdoor deals with another”.

The pointed attack came against the backdrop of former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s overtures to Raj Thackeray and his proposal to MNS to not contest Lok Sabha elections to prevent consolidation of votes in favour of Congress. The development stirred the politics in Maharashtra with Shiv Sena flexing its muscles over continuation of alliance.

This prompted top BJP leadership, including Rajnath Singh and BJP’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi, to do firefighting by pacifying Uddhav. Uddhav also accused BJP of adopting self-defeating tactics.
“..The party is hitting its head against the wall and has hurt itself in the process. BJP should invoke provisions of the Domestic Violence Act to treat their self-inflicted injuries. After being told by us, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Rajiv Pratap Rudy have applied ‘zandu balm’, but what is the guarantee that there will be no domestic violence again,” the editorial said.

Uddhav said BJP owed its national identity to regional parties like Shiv Sena.

“Despite the Hindutva wave after Rathyatra, BJP could not form government on its own even though towering leaders like A B Vajpayee and Advani leading it. It was Pramod Mahajan who deftly handled the coalition of 30-32 parties,” Uddhav said.

He said there were reports of rumblings in parties tyeing-up with BJP in other states as well.

“BJP did not consult ally Kuldeep Bishnoi in Harayana while getting Om Prakash Chauthala-led Bharatiya Lok Dal into NDA fold. Similarly, BJP also did not take Chandrababu Naidu into confidence while inducting NT Rama Rao’s daughter who was a Congress minister till recently,” Uddhav said.

In the no-holds-barred attack, Uddhav also referred to recent inductions in NDA and BJP which have apparently not gone down well with some BJP leaders.

“Many BJP leaders are upset because of Ramvilas Paswan’s entry into NDA. Advani is not happy that Yeddyuruppa has been re-inducted while Sushma Swaraj is unhappy with entry of Vinod Sharma, father of a convict in Jessica Lall murder case Manu Sharma,” Uddhav said.