The war of words between the Shiv Sena and the BJP has further intensified with a publication by the latter daring the junior alliance partner to take 'divorce'.
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari's article published on Wednesday in Maharashtra party unit's fortnightly publication 'Manogat', titled 'When are you taking talaq? Mr Raut', has dared Sena to walk out of the alliance while enumerating the sacrifices BJP has made in past couple of decades-and-a-half to keep the tie-up intact.
The article also attacks Sena MP Sanjay Raut for his recent 'Nizam' remarks.
"On one hand they eat 'biryani' in plate given by the same 'Nizam' and then criticise us on the other hand. They have got ministries at the Centre and state, enjoy perks of power only because of the favour of the same 'Nizam' and then curse the BJP. This is called 'ungratefulness'," the article said.
"If they feel so oppressed by 'Nizam', why don't they just walk out," the article says, adding, "But, they don't show that courage."
Raut recently said the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra were worse than the government of Nizam.
"They sit with us, 'eat' with us and then attack us as well...it's better to take 'talaaq' from Nizam's father. So, Mr Raut when are you taking talaaq?" Bhandari asked.
Criticising Raut for his selective vision, the article said while he feels the present government has done a lot of injustice, they don't see the great amount of work done through 'Jal Yukta Shivar' in Marathwada.
Highlighting BJP's better striking rate in elections, the article further says, "In 1995, the BJP contested 117 seats and won 65. In 2009, despite contesting lesser seats, the BJP won two seats more than the Shiv Sena."
"Sanjay Raut and Shiv Sena president are not able to digest the fact that their strength is declining and that is why they are frustrated. They should accept the changing political situation and stop blaming us," Bhandari opined.
"We outnumbered the Shiv Sena in Aurangabad and Kalyan-Dombivali polls. Voters are considering the BJP as a strong option and that is what is hurting the Sena most," it stated.
The article further said the BJP has made several sacrifices, like leaving constituencies for the Shiv Sena which had been won by the BJP candidates several times in the past—like Pune, Thane and Guhagar.
Defending his article, Bhandari said, "Earlier, we chose to ignore such things but they have crossed the limits of decency. This was discussed in our recent state convention as well. But now we want to tell them straight, if they don't find it worth, they should find their own path."