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Sena chides Rahul for criticising Modi, Centre only on Twitter

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Shiv Sena, in an edit on Thursday in its mouthpiece Saamana, said that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi criticised the workings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre only on Twitter, and failed to produce a viable Opposition to take on the BJP.

“Mr. Gandhi attacks the Centre and its policies regularly, but that is on Twitter,” said the edit. It exhorted Mr. Gandhi to join hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to try and get all Opposition parties on board against the ruling BJP at the Centre.

The Sena, which is in alliance with the Congress and the NCP in Maharashtra’s ruling ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ coalition, chided the Congress for failing to lead the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) effectively and not having a proper party president at the national level even now.

According an almost grudging respect to Mr. Modi and the BJP, the estranged ally observed in the edit: “He [Mr. Modi] knows the situation in the country has gone out of his hands and his body language has changed... But even so, and despite the ire of the general public, the confidence of the BJP and the Central government remains undiminished as they know that they face no threat owing to a weak and disunited Opposition.”

The Sena’s less-than-charitable remarks towards its allies are particularly significant in the light of the heightened tensions between the three partners within the MVA. The Congress’s recent pronouncements of fighting polls alone and the Sena’s alleged frustration at being dominated by the NCP have led to a frenzied speculation that the saffron party will once again gravitate towards the BJP.

Elaborating on the nature of the Opposition, the edit piece took a wry dig at the Mr. Pawar. “The tea party called the ‘Rashtra Manch’ at Sharad Pawar’s Delhi home showed the true status of the Opposition. The two-and-a-half-hour meeting yielded nothing, despite being hyped by the media.”

Earlier this week, Mr. Pawar had hosted a meeting of the leaders of eight Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Samajwadi Party, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Left parties at his residence in Delhi, amid heightened speculation about the possibility of a ‘third front’ against the BJP.

The unlikely coalition of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress came into being in November 2019 following the Sena’s acrimonious split with its partner of three decades, the BJP, owing to a bitter wrangling over the Chief Minister’s post.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 10:20:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rahul-gandhi-should-join-hands-with-sharad-pawar-to-bring-opposition-parties-together-shiv-sena/article34944667.ece

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