Shiv Sena says 'BJP is our principal enemy', praises Rahul
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut called the BJP his party's 'principal enemy.' He said "the BJP owns the (Maharashtra) government and "we are in the government just for the sake of it."
Praising Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, Raut said "there is a substantial change in Rahul since 2014. People like to listen to him now."
Why did he make these statements? Read on!
Shiv Sena calls BJP its principal enemy
Devendra Fadnavis criticizes Shiv Sena for its approach
Referring to Sena's criticism of PM Modi's economic policies, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had earlier slammed the Sena for constantly opposing the government's policies.
He said it "cannot simultaneously play the roles of a ruling party and an opposition."
He said he is planning a cabinet reshuffle and will induct Narayan Rane, who recently quit the Congress and formed his own party.
What was the Sena's reaction?
Sena's mouthpiece Saamna reacted by saying that if Fadnavis thought Sena was a difficult partner, he is free to move on.
It attacked Fadnavis for taking the support of "tainted" NCP led by Sharad Pawar, if Sena pulls out.
Raut said Sena has begun preparations for the 2019 assembly elections and LS elections and 'would contest to win' with or without BJP alliance.
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Sena versus BJP
Sena-BJP relations have hit troubled waters
The Sena-BJP relations have been fraught for some time.
After six MNS corporators defected to Sena, increasing Sena's overall tally in the BMC, BJP accused Sena of horse-trading.
Then, Raut commented that "Modi wave has faded" and Rahul is "capable of leading the country."
Fadnavis inducting Rane will hurt Sena further. Rane had begun his career with Sena but parted bitterly after Uddhav's elevation.