Hinting a rift between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the Sena mouth piece Saamna on Wednesday backed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remark on economic slowdown. In an editorial, Uddhav Thackery's party said: "The kind of gross situation that has arrived in the nation due to economic slowdown was warned by Manmohan Singh years back. It also stated that there is no hesitation in saying that Manmohan Singh knows and understands the country's economy. You have to believe him when he says that the country will be doomed if the economy is not in track. National interest lies in listening to Manmohan Singh's advice."
The editorial also lauded the government's brave move to abrogate Article 370, but clarified that Kashmir and economy are two different things. It said that supporters of the government can argue against the economic slowdown but the former Prime Minister's words are like truth bombs. The editorial went on to target its own alliance partner BJP saying that in last few years the party has been focussing in the winning elections, horse trading, while the economy of the nation went in doldrums. It declared that it will be wise to listen to the former Prime Minister and not do politics on matters of economy.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the state of the economy was "deeply worrying". He added that "all-round mismanagement" by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown. In a statement, he said the last quarter GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that "we are in midst of a prolonged slowdown".The Congress leader said India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate. Singh said it is particularly the manufacturing sector's state was distressing.
"India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis," he said. "This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST," he said adding, "Investor sentiments are in doldrums. These are not the foundations for economic recovery."
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar, dismissed Manmohan Singh's criticism of the current Indian economy. Javadekar addressed media queries and said, "We do not subscribe what Manmohan Singh has analysed. We are not only walking the talk". "We had an economy which was 11th in the world. Now we are among the top 5 and marching towards third," the Union Minister said while addressing the media after the Union Cabinet meeting.
"What we are doing is, being a responsive government, addressing the issues. We have seen this during the process of GST. GST council met every month and took relevant decisions and it is now fine-tuned. That is the way how people-friendly government works. That is how we are working, we are very sure that our economy will show the performance bright as is expected and predicted," the Javadekar said.
As the assembly elections approaches in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and BJP, though continues the alliance, are reported to be fighting among each other for being the 'big brother' in Maharashtra. In the general elections just months ago, Shiv Sena won 23 seats and the BJP won 25. The alliance partners came together after round of talks between the high commands ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Though, Maharashtra CM has declared that the alliance will continue for they are together due to ideology, the power tussle is apparent.
BJP president Amit Shah on Monday visited Mumbai and held a brief meeting with Maharashtra party leaders, including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, but kept away from the ally Shiv Sena. Putting all speculation at rest, Shah while addressing people in Solapur during the Mahajanadesh Yatra said, “Devendra Fadnavis deserves another term to take the development work ahead..". Citing PM Modi's second term, Shah said that like him people of Maharashtra should vote for Fadnavis again. Moreover, Maha CM in an interview to a newspaper stated that he will be the next CM.
On the other side, Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray was confirmed to contest in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections as per sources. Aaditya Thackrey has been touted as a Chief Ministerial candidate by many Sena leaders. Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant iterated the party's stance and said that Aaditya Thackeray is the rising sun and that Maharashtra needs him. Previously, Manohar Joshi demanded to make him as CM candidate citing that he possessed all the qualities to lead the state. Sena's Rajya Sabha MP and Saamna editor Sanjay Raut too had said that Maharashtra needs a young CM like Aaditya.