The Shiv Sena, attempting to form government with its traditional rivals in Maharashtra, attacked estranged ally BJP with another searing editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana. The Shiv Sena hit out at the ruling party for making its MPs sit in opposition in parliament and announcing the Sena's exit from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unceremoniously.
The Sena likened the BJP to 13th century invader Muhammad Ghori who killed Prithviraj Chauhan, a legendary king who had spared his life several times. "Muhammad of Ghor fought several battles with Hindu king Prithviraj Chauhan and the latter always spared him (after defeat). But when the invader won a battle, he killed Prihtviraj Chauhan. Even in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has spared such ungrateful people several times and now they are trying to back-stab us," the editorial said, without mentioning the BJP.
Shiv Sena MPs were being assigned seats in the opposition benches in both houses, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Sunday, days after the Sena pulled out its lone minister at the centre, Arvind Sawant.
"When the BJP came into existence no party used to support it. When the NDA was formed, many BJP leaders holding posts in the present government had no posts then, and some were not even born. We were a part of NDA when no one was willing align with the BJP and words like nationalist Hindutva were not liked by many," the Saamana editorial said.
"It is the beginning of the end of politics of arrogance. We promise you, we will uproot you one day as you have challenged us," warned the Sena.
The editorial said when the NDA was formed, important decisions were taken only after a meeting of alliance partners under the leadership of George Fernandes and Lal Krishna Advani. "We ask, who is the leader of NDA now," the Sena challenged.
The piece questioned whether other NDA alliance partners were looped in about the decision to remove the Sena from the coalition. It pointed out that when the BJP partnered with the People's Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, it never took the NDA's permission.
"When Nitish Kumar, who abused Modi, and his Janata Dal United became a part of NDA, nobody asked us then. When everyone turned their back on BJP and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, Shiv Sena stood by it and now we are being thrown out of the NDA, that too on Balasaheb's death anniversary... This haste will result in some serious accident for sure," the editorial warned.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, allies for over three decades, fell out over power sharing in Maharashtra after fighting the state election together. The Shiv Sena refused to form government with the BJP without a guarantee of rotational chief ministership and a better share in ministries. Though the Shiv Sena's minister quit the central government, the party stopped short of announcing its exit from the NDA. It has since been engaged in talks to form an unlikely alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.