Mumbai: The Shiv Sena, which rules Maharashtra along with the BJP, has ruled out all alliances with the party in future. The current alliance will stay, but the two parties will compete in the elections for the Mumbai civic body BMC, the country's richest municipal organisation, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said today. Soon after, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, saying, "Power is the means for change not the eventual goal. change will happen. It will happen with you or without you."
- Parties will compete in Mumbai civic polls: Uddhav Thackeray
- Sena's comment comes a day after NCP chief featured in Padma awards lists
- Mumbai civic body BMC is the country's richest municipal organisation
The Sena's comment came a day after Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar's name was announced in the Padma awards lists. Mr Pawar has received Padma Vibhushan -- the second highest civilian honour in the country after the Bharat Ratna.
Sena sources said the party is reading it as a sign of the growing proximity of the BJP and the NCP ahead of the civic elections. The NCP, which was an ally of Congress, had split ahead of the 2014 Maharashtra assembly elections.
Without naming Mr Pawar, Mr Thackeray, in his address to party workers today, said, "One of the Padma awards was probably 'gurudakshina' (a gift for a teacher)... today the nation wants to know not what I have to say, but what the Shiv Sena has to say (to it)".
Asked about the possibility of a tie-up the BJP, Mr Pawar said, "I will think about it if they come to ask for help to save the government."
The Shiv Sena, which broke off its alliance with the BJP ahead of the Maharashtra elections, formed the government with it after the results were announced. But since then, it has been seen as a proxy opposition to the BJP -- both at the Centre and the state. Mr Thackeray and various leaders of his party had taken every opportunity to criticise the Narendra Modi government - from its handling of demonetisation to its Pakistan policy and handling of floods and droughts in the country.
The run-up to the civic body elections had witnessed bitter bargaining over seat division between the two parties.
Recently, after Mr Fadnavis had said that a pre-poll alliance was possible only if the Sena acknowledged the BJP's growing clout in region, Mr Thackeray had hinted that the Sena would not mind going it alone.