Sena threatens to pull out, BJP calls it ‘nautanki’

Sena threatens to pull out, BJP calls it 'nautanki'THANE: BJP-Shiv Sena ties today hit a new low with Uddhav Thackeray threatening to pull out of NDA if BJP “continues with its arrogance” even as one of his party ministers in Maharashtra government offered to quit, but it was dismissed as “drama” by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Sena Minister Eknath Shinde, who holds Public Undertaking portfolio, made the offer to resign at a civic poll rally in Kalyan after the Sena chief lashed out at Fadnavis.

Thackeray warned that if the “BJP continues its arrogance” Sena will not hesitate to pull out of the alliance.

As soon as Thackeray finished his speech, Shinde rushed to his leader who was present on the stage saying that he was quitting as he could no longer suffer the “humiliation” being meted out to Sena cadres by BJP which was “misusing” official machinery.

Thackeray, however, rejected the offer saying he would not allow Shinde alone to leave the ministry and if necessary the party will take a collective decision.

Reacting to Shinde’s open offer to quit his cabinet, Fadnavis, who was also campaigning for his party in a nearby area, dubbed it as “drama”.

“We have seen on television a cabinet minister making allegations and offering resignation. This is nautanki (drama),” Fadnavis said.

The BJP-Sena slanging match has become shriller after the two parties decided to contest separately the polls to Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation, going to vote on November 1.

Taking a cue from his leader, Shinde made an emotional speech saying he could no longer tolerate the humiliation being heaped upon Sena workers and he was submitting his resignation.

He then walked up to Thackeray and submitted his resignation and urged him to accept it. Shinde said he rose from the party ranks and cannot tolerate his Sena cadres suffer.

“I agree with the views of Shinde and would like to warn the chief minister that enough is enough and we are losing our patience on the misuse of government machinery at every stage.

They (BJP) clearly see their defeat and hence make use of all kinds of methods to crush us,” Thackeray said.

“Let there be a fight over principles and on the basis of the work done but this kind of misuse of power will not be tolerated at any cost,” he said.

Thackeray then said he will not accept the resignation of Shinde alone.

He asked the Sena workers to be alert in the next two days till the civic polls end. Addressing BJP workers on the last day of campaigning, Fadnavis dubbed Shiv Sena has a “big natak (drama) company”.

“Sena should remember that BJP workers have not worn bangles. I will complain to the State Election Commission about Shiv Sena’s terrorism. Uddhavji should take responsibility for the destruction of Kalyan Dombivali (where civic body is ruled by Sena-led alliance in which BJP is junior partner),” the Chief Minister maintained.

BJP was on the streets when Emergency was declared (in 1975)… where was Sena then? he asked.

“Why does Sena oppose Pakistan only when elections are round the corner. How come people who have meals with Javed Miandad call themselves nationalists,” said Fadnavis, referring to Sena founder Bal Thackeray hosting the former Pakistan cricketer at his residence in Mumbai in 2004.

“Sena shouldn’t show us tiger’s claws. We know how to put our hand in the tiger’s mouth and count its teeth,” the BJP leader roared, continuing his blistering attack on the ally. Earlier Uddhav, in his speech, also targeted the BJP over the high prices of pulses.

“I want a firm answer from the Chief Minister (about what measures would be taken to bring the prices down) before the next cabinet meeting, and this (that the CM gives answer) should be ensured by my cabinet ministers,” he said.

The Shiv Sena chief also referred to the BJP chief Amit Shah’s controversial statement that if his party were to lose in Bihar, firecrackers would be busted in Pakistan. “It seems BJP is in trouble in Bihar, and it would meet the same fate in Kalyan-Dombivali,” Thackeray said.

He also alleged that the Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh was acting at the behest of BJP and targeting the Shiv Sena workers.–PTI

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