Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Monday dismissed talks of senior BJP leaders asking his party to stay away from the nationwide bandh called by the Congress to protest the rising prices of fuel. Raut asserted it was the Shiv Sena’s own decision to not take part in the “Bharat Bandh” and its stand had nothing to do with the BJP.
“No BJP leader has asked the Shiv Sena to stay away from the bandh. Its our own decision,” he said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit is part of the BJP- headed governments at the Centre and also in Maharashtra. There have been talks in political circles that the BJP, facing the opposition fire over the rising prices of fuel, had persuaded its bickering Maharashtra-based ally to stay away from the Congress-sponsored bandh.
Several opposition parties supported the bandh call. An editorial published Monday in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the saffron outfit stayed away from the bandh to see how strongly opposition parties raise an issue of public importance.
“We have been carrying the burden of opposition leaders so far and we now want to see the strength of the opposition. People’s interests are protected when opposition parties perform (their duty) with efficiency,” said the editorial in the Marathi daily.
Raut is the executive editor of the Sena mouthpiece. In the same editorial, the party hit at out the BJP- led NDA government for “failing” to fulfil pre-poll promises, especially its pledge to provide enough jobs. The Sena often slams government policies and also criticises BJP leaders on issues of the day.