The Shiv Sena has consistently played the role of an in-house opposition for the NDA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be the undisputed leader of the NDA and BJP, but the Shiv Sena is not comfortable with declaring him as the leader for the 2019 elections just yet. Party leader Uddhav Thackeray, who was part of the NDA dinner last month, has disagreed with the resolution. He aired his views at an internal meeting of the party leaders who won the local body elections last month.
Ram Vilas Paswan, Mr Thackeray said, "forced these words into the NDA resolution that in 2019 we will fight under the leadership of Modi". Pointing out that there are still two years to go before the next local body elections, he said, "Why force leadership in such a hurry? This is not acceptable to the Shiv Sena".
The Sena has consistently played the role of an in-house opposition for the NDA. This week, not only Mr Thackeray, but two of his party leaders have hit out at the Prime Minister after the mutilated bodies of two soldiers were recovered at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
The party's senior leader Ramdas Kadam asked the Prime Minister to focus "more on security and less on elections". "As a nation, we have to take some decisions," another senior leader, Sanjay Raut, had said.
Even Mr Thackeray took a dig at the PM Modi, saying "With the people you do Mann Ki Baat. With Pakistan, you should do Gun Ki Baat," - a take-off on the title of his monthly radio programme.
Senior Sena leader and Maharashtra's Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam had told reporters, "How many jawans will be martyred, how many women will lose the sindoor on their forehead before we give a fitting reply to Pakistan? PM Modi should tell us this."
The Shiv Sena and the BJP, which share power in Maharashtra and are allies at the centre, have had a tumultuous relationship. Though the parties have gone their separate ways during the state and the Mumbai civic body elections, they have patched up to remain allies even after the bitter electoral battle.