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Shiv Sena to hold review meeting today

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-04-2017 Abhiram Ghadyalpatil

Mumbai: As resentment brews among Shiv Sena cadre over issues including its wavering stance on the demand for a farm loan waiver in Maharashtra, party chief Uddhav Thackeray has called a review meeting at his residence Matoshri on Thursday.

Shiv Sena functionaries and legislators said Thackeray could propose significant changes in the party organization and also replace some ministers in the Maharashtra government with the new faces after the meeting.

Thackeray’s media officer Harshal Pradhan said the Sena chief would hold “an internal meeting of Shiv Sena legislators and ministers where their performance would be discussed.” Pradhan, however, ruled out any possibility of a reshuffle of Sena ministers in the Maharashtra government, in which it is a partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

“Such internal review meetings always take place, especially when Maharashtra legislature is in session. Nothing unusual about this meeting too,” he said.

ALSO READ : Maharashtra studying UP model on farm loan waiver: Devendra Fadnavis

A number of Shiv Sena legislators and a couple of ministers, however, said the meeting assumes significance in the wake of complaints made by legislators and cadre against some “non-performing ministers” and the party’s “inconsistent stand on some issues including the farm loan waiver”.

Several Sena legislators are disappointed that the party leadership allowed the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to seize the lead in demanding the loan waiver.

“Now it looks very likely that (chief minister Devendra) Fadnavis will declare a crop loan waiver in Maharashtra after BJP government in Uttar Pradesh did so. But Congress and NCP will rightly claim credit for that because they kept up pressure inside and outside legislature while we kept changing our stance,” said one Sena legislator, who on Wednesday was part of a group that demanded an immediate loan waiver for Maharashtra farmers. “It is now very difficult to out-shout opposition parties because they never diluted their stand,” this legislator said on condition of anonymity.

A Sena legislator from Mumbai, also requesting anonymity, said complaints about some ministers’ non-performance had been heard five months ago.

ALSO READ : Pressure on Fadnavis as Adityanath farm loan waiver gets Thackeray praise

“Issues pointed out by cadres have now become urgent, especially after we failed to win municipal elections in Mumbai on our own,” this person said.

Sena cadre are pointing to the party’s loss to the Bharatiya Janata Party in some Mumbai suburbs in Mumbai where the party had earlier held sway. “Some ministers are from these suburbs and yet they did not make any gains for the party,” the legislator said.

Another Shiv Sena legislator, who has been a Mumbai corporator for a long time, said the party also needed to start forming a strategy for the 2019 assembly polls, particularly in view of its differences with the BJP.

“It is very improbable that we will fight the next assembly elections in alliance with BJP. In the 2014 assembly polls, BJP won one seat more than Shiv Sena in Mumbai and BJP has risen from 32 to 82 in Mumbai municipal corporation too. We have to start preparing for 2019 and the time for changes is now,” this legislator said on condition of anonymity.

He said the BJP had benefitted from a long-term strategy and planning and also by deploying “leaders of various communities well ahead of the civic elections”.

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