Shiv Sena fully taking opposition space a matter of time

Rohit Chandavakar
Thursday, 8 June 2017

Farmers suicides continue at the same or even higher rate compared to what they were happening during the Congress led UPA regime. But now its not just suicides, farmers are also seen in an aggressive mood.

Sensing the massive anger among farmers brewing over general agrarian distress, Shiv Sena the longest standing alliance partner of BJP has once again raised the ante and has taken the extreme step of saying away from the state cabinet meeting. This is an indication of the relations between Shiv Sena and BJP hitting rock bottom and one can now expect complete alienation between the two coalition partners.  

Farmers suicides continue at the same or even higher rate compared to what they were happening during the Congress led UPA regime. But now its not just suicides, farmers are also seen in an aggressive mood. They are blocking roads, setting state owned vehicles on fire and spilling precious farm products on the streets. It seems that Shiv Sena is somehow sensing that its going to be difficult to face the next polls if it merely remains an alliance partner of the BJP and is seen to be part of the establishment. Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray has adopted the strategy of staying in the government and at the same time taking every opportunity to target it. Now boycotting the weekly cabinet meeting is an extreme that the Sena has reached and it has angered the BJP quite a lot.

The BJP right from the beginning (since December 2014) has adopted the approach of sidelining the Sena and ensuring that they do not get any portfolios of relevance. Now with Sena’s confrontational approach, the BJP is likely to further alienate the Sena. This in turn will push the Sena further into opposing everything the government does.

Sena has been quite outspoken over the demonetization mess. On Wednesday Sena leaders once again said that the current farmer distress is mainly because of demonetization. On the same day in Marathwada’s Beed district women leaders of the Sena went on to publicly shave off their heads as a mark of protest against the BJP lead government. All this must have angered the BJP leadership no end. This is obviously the peak of Shiv Sena’s confrontation with the BJP.

If things continue the way they are going, it is now only a matter of time before the Sena finally takes a call on occupying the opposition’s space completely. The logical conclusion for the path the Shiv Sena is now taking leads to Sena’s separation from the BJP and many in Mumbai think now its only a matter of time before this happens.

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