Mumbai: The Shiv Sena, which abstained from voting in the Lok Sabha on Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill 2015, on Wednesday indicated party's three MPs in Rajya Sabha will not participate in voting but abstain.
Sena resorted to this move despite some MPs wanted that party should openly oppose the amendments to the land acquisition law in both Houses. Sena's move is confirmed by party MPs who did not want to be named.
Sena's decision has made BJP furious. Even though BJP has adequate numbers in the Lok Sabha, it is in minority in the Upper House where BJP is struggling to pass the land acquisition amendments bill.
“The Sena's move cannot be justified as it is against propriety. The party is BJP's ally in the NDA government but charting its own script on key issues. BJP will carefully watch Sena's moves in the coming time. Shiv Sena has been quite harsh in its criticism against the Centre and Maharashtra government on various issues despite being a part of the government. If Shiv Sena goes on bypassing the coalition dharma, BJP will be left with only alternative to severe links. However, the decision will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah,” a senior BJP minister in Maharashtra told Business Standard.
Another BJP leader said Sena should have participated in the voting as the union minister Venkaiah Naidu had briefed party president Uddhav Thackeray about 9 new amendments incorporated in the bill. Uddhav on Monday during his meeting with party legislators had said Shiv Sena will remain firmly with the farmers and will not support any law which goes against the interest of the farmers. He had earlier said ''Do not commit the sin of squeezing the throat of the farmers."
On the other hand, Shiv Sena MPs, who held four meetings on Tuesday before the bill was put for voting, repeatedly consulted Uddhav and abided by his directive of abstaining from voting. However, Sena MP said ''Some party MPs (there are 18 MPs in Lok Sabha) demanded that Sena should oppose the bill in Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha instead of a walk out or abstaining from the voting. However, decision was taken to abstain from voting.''
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena also took opportunity on Tuesday to put BJP and the state government in a wrong box in the state legislature over the issue of burgeoning farmers suicides, inadequate aid to farmers hit by drought, untimely rainfall and hailstorm.
Shiv Sena legislators Arjun Khotkar and Gulabrao Patil in particular led a blistering attack against the state government for its apathy in providing timely assistance. Their attack pleased the opposition Congress-NCP but made BJP quite uneasy.
Khotkar and Patil claimed that despite BJP led government assuming the rule for last 130 days people are not experiencing any change as the decisions are not reaching at the grass root level. Patil went a step ahead and warned that BJP-Shiv Sena, which is in a comfortable majority in the state assembly, may face defeat alike Congress-NCP if government decisions are not implemented in a time bound manner.