The Shiv Sena aren't particularly impressed with the developments within the BJP party faction. Expressing their displeasure with the tendency of senior leaders within the party to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rather extravagant manner, the Shiv Sena have warned that it is the "bhakts" who could bring potential trouble for the party.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu recently sang his paeans to the Prime Minister, calling him "God's gift to India". Naidu's ministerial colleague Radha Mohan Singh also used a similar description while praising Modi.
In a sarcastic note, the Sena also asked if the emotional call that Chief Justice of India Justice TS Thakur made on Sunday to increase the number of judges to tackle the mounting number of cases could be termed as an "achievement" of the Modi Government.
"Senior BJP leaders are issuing statements that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an 'avatar' of God. Since he has been made a God, there is bound to be a temple and festivals in his name. A Ram Temple may not be constructed in Ayodhya but there will be 'shlokas' chanted in the name of this new God," the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
The BJP should remember that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi spent a lot of money on advertisements, but eventually lost power after the 1975-77 Emergency, the Sena said.
"It is the bhakts (devotees) that eventually get politicians and Gods into trouble. This has been so from the time of Mahabharat to the present political situation in Delhi," the editorial read.
"The Chief Justice of India broke down in front of Prime Minister (while making an appeal to increase number of Judges). Should this be considered an achievement of the Modi- led Government?"
"33 per cent of the country is reeling under drought and areas like Marathwada and Bundelkhand have become desolate and appear like burial grounds. Government schemes have not reached there even in two years. This can not be termed as a failure of the previous government".
"What happened to the pre-election promises of bringing black money back, taming inflation, ending corruption? How can we say these are the achievements of the Modi government?"
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is an ally of BJP-led governments in Maharashtra and also at the Centre. The Sena's party mouthpiece, Saamana, has been critical of several policies and decisions of the Modi government, ranging from its stand on Pakistan to Uttarakhand political crisis.