Shiv Sena is Still on Hold, Has Fierce Attack for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: New Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, recipient of lavish praise from the Shiv Sena last week, is the sole focus of an angry editorial today in the party’s newspaper.

Shiv Sena is Still on Hold, Has Fierce Attack for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Shiv Sena, Still on Hold, Has Fierce Attack for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

“He beat his chest and said that at an appropriate time, statehood would be given to Vidarbha,” the column says, urging, “As Chief Minister, he should ensure the state remains united.”

On Monday, in his home town of Nagpur, the nerve-centre of Vidarbha, Mr Fadnavis said that his party, the BJP, has always supported the call for smaller states. Vidarbha, under-developed and saddled with the tragic distinction of the maximum farmer suicides in the country, has been lobbying to be turned into a state.

“The Centre will decide when to carve out a separate state. It will be done at an appropriate time. But we want to do it amicably,” he said.

The Sena’s rancour is rooted partly in the fact that it is still waiting to hear whether it will be accepted as a partner in the government formed by the BJP. After a 25-year alliance, the two teams parted bitterly ahead of the election. Because the BJP won the most seats but not a clear majority, the Sena, which placed second, has offered a remarriage. BJP leaders have said they would like to work with the Sena, while refusing to close the deal – a pressure tactic to drive a hard bargain for how key ministries would be allocated between the two parties.

When Mr Fadnavis took his oath as Chief Minister last week at an elaborate ceremony in Mumbai, Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, who had decided to skip the event, was persuaded to make an appearance in phone calls from Mr Fadnavis and BJP President Amit Shah. In an interview to NDTV after he became Chief Minister, Mr Fadnavis expressed confidence that the Shiv Sena would join his government.