12 May, 2021

Coalition At Loggerheads

The tenuous Sena-BJP combine can't seem to agree on anything

Coalition At Loggerheads

WHEN Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, Pakistan's high commissioner in India, called on Bal Thackeray in January,he had to wait for over 10 minutes before getting past the tight security ring around the Sena chief. Later, Thackeray fumed to a journalist who complained about his security: "These securitymen have no sense. They even did this to Qazi, a diplomat, his country's ambassador, and yes, a nice man." That was Thackeray before the elections, and the drubbing his alliance received.

One conclusion is that Thackeray's suggestions about national monuments in Ayodhya did not cut ice with the minorities. Worse, there are some who feel that such postures may have even cost the Sena the hardline Hindu vote. That has revived the Sena snarl. Thackeray's handshake with the minorities is now a memory and as Sharad Pawar put it at a Congress meet in Nashik last week: Thackeray's effort now is "to play the militant Hindutva card to win the next assembly elections".

This marks a return to a position that is over a decade old....

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