After aggression, Sena sobering down its posturing against BJP

Rohit Chandavarkar
Friday, 14 July 2017

Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut has chosen to be very loud and vocal about what he alleges to be the inability of the Central government on controlling terror attacks happening in Kashmir and other
places

As Ramnath Kovind, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate contesting the Presidential poll, prepares for his one-day Mumbai tour to meet with his prospective voters on Saturday, BJP’s alliance partner in Maharashtra Shiv Sena has opened yet another round of disputes against their partners.

Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut has chosen to be very loud and vocal about what he alleges to be the inability of the Central government on controlling terror attacks happening in Kashmir and other
places.

Raut said on Wednesday that he wants the government to take a tougher stand and in his words, he wants the ‘Narendra Modi should follow the footsteps of Adolf Hitler’.

This has certainly stunned everybody in Maharashtra once again. But Raut also has clarified that Sena will be supporting NDA’s candidate in the presidential election.

Just over a fortnight ago BJP national president Amit Shah visited Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and reports suggest that among many things that were discussed, Shah demanded that the Sena should fall in line and announce support to BJP’s official candidate Ramnath Kovind.
A day after Shah’s visit, Shiv Sena chief first went into a rally on Sena’s anniversary day to publicly make a statement that BJP should not take the Sena for granted in a very angry voice but next day virtually surrendered to announce Shiv Sena’s support to Kovind!

Now, after the Amarnath attack, Shiv Sena has again chosen to get aggressive and build some public opinion against the BJP but it looks like they are not able to do it with full conviction.

So while the Sena wants to show the world that they resist the domination of their alliance partner, in reality, it seems that the Sena has in many ways sobered their stand on various matters.

Most insiders say that the visit by BJP chief Amit Shah to Uddhav Thackeray’s residence a fortnight ago has generally achieved the desired result. It is believed that Shah was quite aggressive in his discussion with Uddav Thackeray over his demand that Sena should clearly fall in line and announce support to NDA’s presidential candidate. Now the Sena seems to have buckled under that pressure.

As a result of the pressure that Amit Shah has been able to create on the Shiv Sena, BJP’s Presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind has decided that he is not required to go and meet Uddhav Thackeray at his residence during his forthcoming visit on Saturday. It is noteworthy that Congress candidates in the Presidential race of 2007 and 2012, Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee had visited Uddhav’s residence asking for support.

In politics, sometimes what the scene from outside suggests is actually not the picture.

The Sena wants to create a picture in Maharashtra that it can take on the BJP in the political space, but the actual reality is that at every crucial point when BJP needs the Sena to fall in line and officially give support, the Sena is seen offering it unconditionally.

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