Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 17
Shiv Sena’s divorce with BJP-led NDA got an official seal on Sunday with Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi saying its members are being allotted seats on the side of Opposition benches in both Houses of Parliament.
This puts an end to Shiv Sena’s speculations on its rumble of “dare and scare” to its oldest ally, the BJP, of severing ties with it and, ipso facto, walking out of the NDA headed by the latter.
“Shiv Sena’s minister has resigned from the NDA government,” Joshi said in response to media queries immediately after an all-party meeting, and added that Sena MPs did not attend today’s NDA meeting regarding Winter Session of Parliament which will commence tomorrow.
He referred to Shiv Sena’s efforts to stitch up an alliance with NCP and Congress to form a government in Maharashtra. “So it is natural that they will be allotted seats on the opposition side in both Houses,” Joshi said.
About three-decade old ties between Shiv Sena and BJP snapped due to the former’s adamancy of sharing chief ministerial post in Maharashtra. With the BJP refused to give in, the Sena opened up to do business with the NCP and the Congress to form a coalition government.
Talks are on between the three parties to this effect to clinch the exercise to form a non-BJP government.
The NCP and the Congress had laid down condition to the Shiv Sena to sever its ties with NDA before any talks on government formation with them. Subsequently, lone Shiv Sena minister Arvind Sawant resigned from the Council of Ministers.
The Shiv Sena has been off and on voicing criticism to the BJP and NDA government-2 spewing speculation of its relationship with the BJP which assumed dominant partner role in Maharashtra’s politics after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.
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