In an astonishing claim, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane on Sunday stated that 35 of the 56 Shiv Sena MLAs were “dissatisfied” with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Issuing a reminder that BJP was the single-largest party with 105 seats, he exuded confidence that it would form the government in Maharashtra. Terming the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s promise of a farm loan waiver as “hollow”, he contended that there was no timeline for the implementation of the same. Moreover, Rane alleged that the current ruling politicians had no knowledge about running the government.
Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane claims 35 of 56 Shiv Sena MLAs in the state 'dissatisfied' with their party leadership— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) January 12, 2020
The 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections witnessed the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance getting a comfortable majority. However, there was a tussle over the Chief Minister's post. As BJP refused to concede the post for two and a half years, the Sena commenced talks with NCP and Congress to explore options for forming the government in Maharashtra. Finally, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 28 in front of thousands of people in Mumbai. As a result, BJP despite being the single-largest party was relegated to the opposition benches. However, there has been growing unease in the Sena after forming the government.
Shiv Sena is being perceived to have moved away from its Hindutva stance owing to the compulsions of its alliance with NCP and Congress. The ideological dilemma for the Sena has come to the fore on issues such as the Citizenship Amendment Act and Veer Savarkar. In the case of the former, the Sena MPs adopted a different position in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. On the other hand, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut defended Savarkar both on Twitter as well as in the Saamana newspaper. However, party supremo Uddhav Thackeray refused to comment on Rahul Gandhi’s remark that had sparked off the controversy in the first place.
Furthermore, there has been discontent after the expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet. Sena MP Sanjay Raut was reportedly unhappy as his brother missed out on a Cabinet berth. Also, senior party MLA Abdul Sattar was initially miffed over getting just a Minister of State position. Apart from this, there is a feeling in the Sena camp that the NCP has walked away with not only the highest number of portfolios but also the most important ones. The Sena, for example, had to cede the Home and the Finance portfolio.