The Shiv Sena borrowed a famous dialogue from the iconic Bollywood film, "Sholay", to attack the BJP-led government over economic slowdown during the ongoing festival season. "Itna sannata kyun hai bhai (why is there so much silence)," the party wrote in an editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana", amid a tussle with ally BJP over power sharing in Maharashtra.
Growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at just 5 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year (2019-20). There have been reports of a slowdown in several important sectors, including real estate and auto. The centre has taken several steps to revive the economy.
The Sena, which contested the recent Maharashtra Assembly election in alliance with the BJP, blamed centre's big-ticket economic decisions--demonetisation and the implementation of goods and services tax- for the slowdown.
"Markets have lost shine as sales figures have dropped by 30 to 40 per cent due to the looming fear of slowdown. Industries are suffering while some manufacturing units have closed down, leading to joblessness," the article read.
"On the other hand, the government is also forced to draw funds from the RBI's reserves. There is silence in markets on Diwali, but foreign companies, through online shopping platforms, have been filling up their coffers with the country's money," it added.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party stopped the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance from achieving its goal of winning 220 out of 288 seats in Maharashtra Assembly. The BJP's tally dropped from 122 in the 2014 polls to 105 seats.
After the results, the Shiv Sena, which has won 56 seats, demanded BJP chief Amit Shah honour his promise of implementing what it called a "50:50" formula. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has sought an arrangement where a Chief Minister each from the two parties will split the five-year term and wants an assurance from the BJP leadership in writing.
The two allies have maintained a bittersweet equation over the years. They had contested the 2014 elections separately after failing to finalise the seat-sharing deal. They had stitched a post-poll alliance after a fractured verdict. Thereon, Mr Thackeray's party kept attacking the BJP-led central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a host of issues, often siding with the opposition. A truce was called before the national election in which the two parties won 41 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
With inputs from PTI