Mumbai: A day after a Shiv Sena legislator wrote a damning letter urging the leadership to patch up with BJP, the party has distanced itself from his suggestions, while the Congress has assured that there is “no threat” to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, here on Monday.
The letter to Thackeray, recently sent by Pratap Sarnaik, MLA from Thane’s Ovala-Majiwada constituency – who along with his family is facing the heat of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) since the past 7 months – demands the Shiv Sena should hug the BJP for the benefit of the party.
The beleaguered Sarnaik pointed out how he and other Sena leaders like minister Anil Parab and ex-minister Ravindra Waikar plus their families were being hounded by several central investigation agencies, but if Sena-BJP come together, they will be spared of the harassment.
Interestingly, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis dismissed it as the Sena’s internal matter and claimed the party was not interested in tying up with its ex-ally, but union minister of state Ramdas Athawale again prodded the Sena to return to the BJP fold.
Rushing to sympathise with Sarnaik, Congress state Spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that from the letter’s content, it is clear the kind of mental tortures he is being subjected to by the Central agencies.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is blatantly misusing the probe agencies to destabilize the MVA government. The BJP is stooping so low to grab power by any means,” Sawant said sharply.
Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari – accorded a MoS status – warned that this could be a conspiracy by the BJP to derail the MVA government since Thackeray is now poised to assume ‘a big role in central politics’.
“The BJP is worried with regional parties becoming strong in so many states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and recently in West Bengal. They apprehend a serious challenge to Modi from these regional leaders,” Tiwari pointed out.
Sarnaik’s letter came a day after Thackeray – while reacting to Congress President Nana Patole and Mumbai chief Bhai Jagtap’s clamour for going along in the upcoming civic elections due in the first quarter of 2022 – said without mincing words that people would “beat with chappals” those who talk of solo politics without working for solutions to people’s problems.
Apparently finding few takers for his grandiose solo plans, Patole has now made it clear that the MVA government faces no threat from Congress for the full five-year term, even as NCP president Sharad Pawar is understood to be keeping close tabs on the goings-on here. However, Sharad calls for meeting with non Shiv Sena allys on 22 June for further discussion on the matter.