Maharashtra: Shiv Sena hints at walking out of Fadnavis-led government

Citing the unprecedented price rise and unresolved farmer issues, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said their party is not responsible and does not want to share the blame with the Fadnavis govt.

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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena hints at walking out of Fadnavis-led government

While former Shiv Sena rebel and Congress leader Narayan Rane is waiting in the wings to join the BJP, the Shiv Sena has served yet another ultimatum to walk out of the Devendra Fadnavis-led dispensation in which it is a junior partner. However, it did not set a deadline for the decision, which leaders said would be taken by party president Uddhav Thackeray at the “right time.”

Sources said the Shiv Sena’s elected representatives had also expressed their discontent at the party’s own ministers in the state government in a meeting held on Monday by Uddhav at his residence at Matoshree in Bandra East. The Sena has 12 ministers, including five with cabinet rank, in the Fadnavis government and a lone representative — union heavy industries minister Anant Geete —in the Narendra Modi cabinet.

The Shiv Sena will organise a show of strength through a morcha (protest march) across the state and in Mumbai later this week. The party, which is gradually losing space to the resurgent BJP, is also eager to ensure a good turnout at its Dusshera rally. It has also girded its loins to ensure success in the polls to gram panchayats.

The party had maintained intense secrecy about the meeting with ministers, MPs and legislators being asked to leave their mobile phones outside the hall.

“There is intense discontent against the government in legislators and MPs as their development works are not being done. Even the people have immense anger and disillusionment about this dispensation. Prices are rising and many legacy issues are yet to be resolved. While it is the BJP’s government, the people are blaming the Shiv Sena. The time has come for us to decide if we want to stay in the government or not and we have come close to that point,” said Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, who is the executive editor of the party organ Saamna.

He denied that the issue of Rane’s entry into the BJP was discussed in the meeting. Rane had earlier hinted that his induction into the ruling party was likely during Navratri.

“Not just legislators and MPs, even the common man is not happy at the government. They are hit badly by rising prices of essentials and those of petrol and diesel,” said a senior Shiv Sena MP, adding they wanted to tap into the sentiment.

Environment minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam admitted that several Shiv Sena legislators had expressed their discontent at the slow pace of development and had sought that the party quit the government. “Uddhavji will take a right decision at the right time,” he added.

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