Mumbai: A cryptic message put out by Sanjay Raut, which said “Wait and watch, Uddhvaji will give the final ultimatum to the chief minister and then take his decision,’ has the media wandering for the umpteenth time whether the Sena will take its perpetual sniping at the BJP to its logical conclusion.
In its usual politics of flip-flop, the Sena leaders even went into a huddle at Matoshree to take a call on whether it should withdraw support to the government. The provocation this time – at least for public consumption — is the high fuel price. But, as is customary, a confused Shiv Sena stopped short of serving an ultimatum on its estranged ally with political observers pointing out that the Sena legislators are themselves not inclined to quit at this juncture, primarily because they don’t want to be hustled into a midterm poll.
Amid talk of unrest among the party legislators, Thackeray had called a joint meeting of party legislators, Members of Parliament and ministers at his residence on Monday. The meeting went on for almost three hours, in which Manohar Joshi and Thackeray addressed members.
After the meeting, Raut, while speaking with media, said that the party leadership is very close to taking a decision. “Wait and watch. Uddhvaji will give the final ultimatum to the chief minister and then take his decision,” he explained.
He further said, “There is tremendous resentment among the people in the state and across the country against the government. There are various concerns stemming from the inefficiency of the government. The Shiv Sena does not want to be a part of all this.” He added that all the Sena leaders put forth their views in front of the party chief on whether to continue in the government or not.
According to a party insider, no MLA or MP wants mid-term election. A decision on the future of the alliance with the 2019 polls in mind is not likely to be taken in a hurry; for the moment, Thackeray will speak with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and sort out the issues of the legislators. “Dussehra rally is the high point for the Sena and Thackeray will clarify on these issues then. But I strongly believe that he will not take an extreme position,” a leader said. “Fadnavis and Thackeray have very good relations, which will help resolve the issues,” he claimed.