Mumbai: After the debacle in the recent bypolls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in a defensive mode. The party has initiated moves to pacify its sulking allies like Shiv Sena. The first move is BJP President Amit Shah’s meeting with Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Shah will be travelling to Mumbai to meet Thackeray after the two allies fought a bitter electoral battle in Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra.
The BJP realised that without the Sena, it is not easy to fight with the anti-BJP front and now the BJP is trying to pacify its allies.
Considering the political scenario in the State and the nation, there is need for the BJP to pacify Shiv Sena to remain in power. Shah may offer one more Cabinet berth and one State minister of state portfolio at the Centre.
According to a spokesperson from the Shiv Sena, Shah and Thackeray will meet at 6 pm on Wednesday at Matoshree in Bandra (East), the Shiv Sena chief’s residence.
“There is nothing major in the meeting with Shah. He just sought an appointment and Shiv Sena always welcome guests at Matoshree, it is our culture. So an appointment was granted,” said senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
According to the BJP sources, Shah plans to meet Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader in Punjab.
The BJP won the contest against a divided opposition in Palghar, but the elections clearly sent a warning signal to the party in power in the state and the Centre with the victory margin and vote share of the BJP coming down drastically from the 2014 figures.
In the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency, the only one of the four Parliamentary constituencies where the BJP won the seat. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won the Bhandara-Gondiya seat and the Rashtriya Lok Dal defeated the BJP in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress realised that united they can defeat the BJP. Taking this message from the bypolls, the Congress appealed to all opposition parties to bury their differences and come together to defeat the BJP.
The Congress is going to start an anti-BJP movement. The party is trying to bind all opposition parties together. They are also eying disgruntled allies of the BJP to merge them in their front. If this happens, it will be difficult for the BJP to face the election solo.
The Shiv Sena is behaving like an opposition party despite enjoying power in the State. Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana is flaying Devendra Fadnavis and Narendra Modi every day. Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut recently described the BJP as its biggest ‘political enemy’.