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Uddhav Thackeray accuses BJP for ‘Centralizing’ Power. The Shiv Sena has launched yet another scathing attack on ally BJP through mouthpiece Saamana, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking away the independence of states.“The ache din are only in advertisements. Do we have true democracy in the country if all affairs are going to be run as per the wishes of the Prime Minister? He is centralizing power at the Center, instead of decentralizing it. He is taking away the independence of the states,” Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said in an interview in Saamana.Sena’s latest tirade against the BJP comes days after Ram Nath Kovind’s presidential win signaled a shift in the state’s power play. The NDA nominee won almost two dozen extra votes in Maharashtra over and above 63 MLAs of the Shiv Sena. The BJP has 122 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly. A simple number crunch reveals that MLAs from the NCP or the Congress, or perhaps even both, cross-voted for Kovind.
While the BJP seems to have reduced its dependence on Sena in the Assembly, the latter now finds itself in an unenviable position of relying on its ally in the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The two parties have shared an uncomfortable relationship and even parted ways during civic polls earlier this year. With its latest Saamana article, the Sena has renewed its attack on the Devendra Fadvanis government. “The Maharashtra government has deceived farmers in the name of farm loan waivers. No clear instructions have been issued to banks yet,” Thackeray said.Criticising the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Sena batted for the return of the Octroi. “China is trying to instigate Muslims in India. The lack of check on octroi nakas (checkposts) is a grave security threat.” The party also renewed its attack on demonetisation, claiming it had affected the livelihoods of 15 lakh people. “Around 15 lakh people lost their jobs due to demonetisation. This means, around 60 lakh people have been directly affected. You should give jobs to them. How are you going to balance Start-up India and Make in India, with such colossal job losses? Will you call me a traitor for saying this?”Thackeray added that traders in Gujarat, the home state of PM Modi, were hit by GST, while his intervention averted loss of income in Maharashtra. “Mumbai and 27 other municipal corporations got funds equivalent to the octroi income,” he said.
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