Amid the political stalemate in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Sunday took a swipe at one-time ally BJP and said Chhatrapati Shivaji was not “confined to any caste or party” but belongs to all 11-crore people of Maharashtra. Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, writing in his weekly ‘Rokhthok’ column in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said, “Shivaji Maharaj is not confined to a caste or a party. He belongs to all 11-crore people of Maharashtra.” Taking a dig at the BJP’s campaign centring on the founder of the Maratha Empire, Raut wrote, “The BJP has been campaigning that it is the only party blessed by Shivaji Maharaj. Despite that, BJP candidate Udayanraje Bhosale, lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll.”
"Shivaji Maharaj taught us that Maharashtra does not tolerate arrogance and hypocrisy. Whenever people take oath in the name of Shivaji Maharaj but do not keep promises, and start thinking of themselves as rulers of the state, then it is a sign of their downfall," Raut said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has decided not to attend a meeting of NDA allies on the eve of the winter session of Parliament. According to Shiv Sena, it had no intention of attending the meeting and has not been invited. Meanwhile, a crucial meeting between Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and NCP leader Sharad Pawar is expected to take place any day next week.
On Saturday, Sanjay Raut said that severance of ties with the NDA was only a formality now. He also said that Sena MPs would now have different seating arrangements meaning they would be sitting on opposition benches in the winter session of Parliament. Shiv Sena's lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Arvind Sawant, resigned on November 11. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP over sharing of chief minister's post after the two allies won a comfortable majority in the last month's assembly polls.
Maharashtra was placed under President's rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form government. The BJP and the Sena, which fought the October 21 polls in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member assembly. The Congress and NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats.