PM POST: Shiv Sena says it would back Nitin Gadkari, not Modi for PM post after 2019 LS polls

NEWS / GADKARI / SHIV SENA

NEW DELHI: In another shock to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Shiv Sena has cast its lot with Maharashtra BJP politician and Union minister for roads and highways, Nitin Gadkari, vis-a-vis the selection of a PM nominee by the NDA after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.  The Shiv Sena said on Wednesday that it would support Nitin Gadkari for the PM post, and not present PM Narendra Modi.

Modi has been giving sleepless nights to the Shiv Sena for the past few years even as it is an ally of the BJP in the Maharashtra government and in the Brahin Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Shiv Sena is seen as an out and out corrupt political establishment and Modi is seen to have applied brakes on its money-minting machines. Also, in several respects, the BJP state and central leaderships did not allow the Shiv Sena to have its way, be it in the BMMC or in state government affairs.

The Shiv Sena, cut up with Modi’s similar obstructionist stands, had created problems even when the 2014 NDA ministry was sworn in. From then on, there have been frequent roars from the Sena against PM Modi and the BJP.

It is also likely that Nitin Gadkari has his own line of communication with the Shiv Sena leadership. Gadkari is one among the Modi-baiters in the Union government, and he is not comfortable with party chief Amit Shah either. 

Gadkari’s comments after the BJP lost power in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh assembly polls was directly targeted at Shah and Modi, who together ran the affairs of the party. What he had said at that time was that those who claimed credit for the successes of the party in the past should also take up responsibility for the defeat to the party now. Later, he explained that he did not mean PM Modi when he stated thus. 

Gadkari, a Nagpur-based Brahmin, is a favourite of the RSS for long years, and had functioned as the BJP president for some time. Earlier, he was a minister in the Maharashtra BJP government, when scandals about alleged corruption in his ministry had surfaced and this had put Gadkari on the defensive. There are also allegations relating to work contracts for the roads, highways and flyover projects awarded by his ministry since 2014. IHN-NN  

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