In a big claim made by the Shiv Sena leader, Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena was called the “big brother” by him on Monday, striking the chord against it’s party ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Raut was addressing the media after attending a meeting headed by Shiv Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray, on Monday. “Shiv is the big brother in Maharashtra and will continue to be so,” claimed Raut while addressing the media. He further declined any proposals made to the Sena by BJP yet for the alliance in the Lok Sabha election 2019. However, the Sena parliamentarian gave a hint that the party would not wait for any proposals as those who are interested to forge an alliance with them are talking about it. “Those who wish to forge an alliance with us are talking about it. We are not waiting for any proposal to be offered to us,” Raut concluded on the question of alliance with BJP.
The Sena-BJP are in a strange alliance where the former doesn’t leave any moment to criticize the BJP government at the centre or in Maharashtra, however, doesn’t break it’s alliance with the latter. The BJP, on the other hand, has been playing safe in this politics of ‘fire and reaction’ as it understands the need of Sena in forming it’s government in the state. As per the earlier trends, BJP has been getting a larger share of seats in Lok Sabha elections while lesser than Sena in legislative assembly elections. However, disturbing the trend in 2014, BJP decided to contest the Lok Sabha election alone, cornering Shiv Sena in the backdrop of Modi wave. The decision proved to be a boon to the BJP as it won 112 seats against Shiv Sena with only 63 seats. The decision, though, brought an unpleasant flavour to their long lasting relationship. The unpleasant relationship converted into a bitter relationship in the last 5 years, where Sena leaders express their criticism for BJP government openly.
The BJP chief, Amit Shah, and Maharashtra’s chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, have, reportedly, suggested it’s Lok Sabha election 2019 contenders to be prepared to contest alone even this time. The Shiv Sena’s comment through Raut is speculated to be in the wake of this suggestion from two of the prominent leaders of BJP.
In the meeting held on Monday between the Shiv Sena leaders and their chief Uddhav Thackeray, these points are speculated to be discussed along with other points. The other points discussed in the meeting include income tax waiver for people with income less than INR 8 Lac. “The union government has already decided to offer reservation to economically weaker sections (in the general category) with an annual income up to Rs. 8 lac,” Sena supremo, Uddhav Thackeray, recalled the BJP’s bill to offer 10% reservation within general category to economically weaker section with less than INR 8 lac annual income. “Uddhav Thackeray has demanded that the income tax threshold be raised from existing Rs. 2.5 lac to Rs. 8 lac,” asserted Raut while addressing media.
The other issues discussed in the meeting included drought hardships faced by the farmers in some parts of the state while the party decided to comment on Rafale deal in the next parliamentary session.