Rahul Gandhi’s Remarks Could End Alliance, Warns Team Uddhav: 10 Facts

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Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena faction has attacked the BJP over teaming up with the PDP.

Mumbai:
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction may ditch its ideologically antithetical partner Congress, the party said on Friday, in a sharp escalation of a disagreement over their views on right-wing ideologue VD Savarkar.

Here is your 10-point guide to this story:

  1. “Uddhav [Thackeray] ji may make a statement. In the morning, Sanjay Raut made a statement saying we may not continue in the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition). That’s a serious reaction from the party. What more do you want?” Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant told NDTV.

  2. Questioned about continuing the alliance, he also reiterated the group’s attack on the BJP for teaming up with Jammu and Kashmir’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – an equally paradoxical partnership.

  3. Earlier, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told NDTV, “Savarkar’s issue is important for us and we believe in his ideology. They (Congress) shouldn’t have brought this issue up.”

  4. In an apparent damage control effort, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said Rahul Gandhi had not “targetted” Savarkar but was stating a historical fact. “I spoke to Sanjay Raut today. We agree to disagree. He refuted the impression that it will weaken Maha Vikas Aghadi. It won’t affect the MVA,” he said.

  5. The Shiv Sena had forged the MVA alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress party (NCP) after the Maharashtra elections in 2019. The move followed a break-up with long-time partner BJP over sharing the Chief Minister’s seat.

  6. The party has since battled accusations of forming the unusual coalition to grab top billing in India’s richest state – home to the country’s financial and entertainment capital Mumbai – and keep the BJP out.

  7. The deal was at the heart of a mutiny within the Shiv Sena earlier this year, when party strongman Eknath Shinde walked over with the majority of MLAs to side with the BJP and become Chief Minister in the process.

  8. The differences in virtues of the right-wing Shiv Sena and its centre-left ally came to the fore once again last week with comments by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, criticising Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for seeking mercy from the British while in jail.

  9. Savarkar was a coward, Mr Gandhi suggested, contrasting him with the Congress’s icons Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel.

  10. Fending off allegations of “ditching his father Bal Thackeray’s Hindutva legacy”, Uddhav Thackeray countered the comment, saying, his Shiv Sena faction has “immense respect” for Savarkar.

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