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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Anna Hazare crusade splits Shiv Sena, BJP

Social activist Anna Hazare has created a dent in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.

The parties will now draw up their own manifestoes for the civic and zilla parishad elections in the state.

“Politically, it works to our advantage to see that the agitation continues in Mumbai. The longer the agitation, the better for the BJP as members of Team Anna are going to engage in bashing the ruling Congress,” said sources in the BJP.

“If Mumbaikars can connect with Anna’s agitation, it certainly would give credence to our campaign against corruption,” they added.

After the initial flip flop, the Sena decided to take an anti-Hazare stand. It said Hazare has no business to usurp the role of a dictator in a democratic system.

The BJP is worried that the Sena’s opposition to Hazare’s agitation could expose the cracks within the alliance. “If the Congress had resolved the controversy over the Jan Lokpal bill, the matter would have been relegated to the backburner. As the Opposition party in the Centre and the state, it works to our advantage to see that the issue keeps burning,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

The BJP-ruled states have been under pressure from its central leadership to adopt tough laws for Lok Ayukta. This is to convey a strong message to the people that the BJP is serious about fighting corruption. “The party is determined to fight against corruption,” said Madhav Bhandari, senior BJP leader. “As far as the state unit is concerned, we believe that every organisation has the right to protest in a democratic manner.”

The BJP leaders in Maharashtra have decided not to get into an ugly debate with the Sena. “When it comes to fighting corruption, there is no reason why the Sena should oppose his agitation which has public support,” said the BJP strategists.


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