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Sena at it again, tells Modi govt mere advertising, word play won’t tackle jobs crisis

The Shiv Sena, which had mended its rocky ties with the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, has now hit out at the Modi govt over the state of the economy.

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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena’s truce with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to have lasted just the duration of the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP’s ally in Maharashtra has begun sharpening its knives once again, this time targeting the Modi government over rising unemployment and the dip in economic growth.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana, the Shiv Sena Monday warned the BJP-led government that mere “advertising” and “creating illusions by word play” will not do and that it will have to make as its sole objective, tackling the decline in job growth over the past five years.

“The challenges of inflation, unemployment, declining production, and businesses shutting down need to be faced. Creating illusions by word play is not going to solve the problem of unemployment,” reads the editorial. “If the threat of unemployment keeps increasing, simply having discussions on how to tackle it or advertising is not going to be of any use, there will have to be action.”

The editorial appears to be in response to the data released by the labour ministry last week, which corroborated a leaked pre-election report, confirming that the unemployment rate in 2017-18 was 6.1 per cent, a 45-year high.

Also readNo one can counter PM Modi for next 25 years: Shiv Sena

‘Bullet train, Rafale deal will not bring jobs’

The Saamana editorial states that while BJP leaders like Union Minister Nitin Gadkari have been defending the government, saying it is not the BJP that has created the problem of unemployment in the last five years — an argument that the Sena thinks is valid — it, however, points out that the Modi government did promise to create two crore jobs per year.

“By that calculation, 10 crore new jobs should have been created in the past five years,” it adds. “That doesn’t seem to have happened and one cannot blame Nehru-Gandhi for it.”

The Sena editorial further said foreign investment statistics are often deceptive and do not help solve the problem of unemployment. The jobs crisis will ease and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise only if there is investment in fields such as new industries, ports, roads, airports, transport and so on, the party said.

“A bullet train is coming to the country. Not a single person is going to get employment because of that. There aren’t any major employment opportunities in the Rafale deal either,” the Saamana editorial added. “Before the election, a picture was created that 300 American companies working in China are coming to India, but now American President Trump has imposed trade restrictions on India. This picture is worrying.”

Also readThe Gujarat model: Why Amit Shah was always going to be Modi’s pick for home minister

The Shiv Sena-BJP relationship

The Shiv Sena had a rocky relationship with the BJP during most of Prime Minister Modi’s first term. Even as the party was a constituent of the union and state-led BJP governments, it had fallen out with the BJP at the state level over seat-sharing for the 2014 state assembly election and at the national level, the party complained that it was being sidelined despite being a significant National Democratic Alliance (NDA) party. The Shiv Sena constantly criticised the government over various policies through Saamana.

The criticism had toned down by several notches after the two parties mended fences and inked a pre-poll back before the Lok Sabha election.

After the election, however, Sena leaders have in confidence expressed disappointment at being given just one representational cabinet berth. The Shiv Sena with 18 MPs is the party with the second-largest strength in the NDA and was this time expecting at least two cabinet berths and a junior ministership.

The party though has not officially said anything about this because it does not want to upset its equation with the BJP before the Maharashtra assembly election, which is just about a hundred days away. The two parties have in principle decided to share seats and all portfolios equally.

In the previous NDA government too, Shiv Sena had just one cabinet minister — Anant Geete — who had the heavy industries portfolio. Party leaders are also upset that the Modi government has handed the same portfolio to Shiv Sena’s single cabinet minister, even as the party was hoping for a more significant, visible ministry with a direct people connect.

Also read: BJP-Shiv Sena’s massive win sweeps away bitterness, could help cement once-shaky alliance

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  1. After all the govt. Policy is to shut down all PSUs. Mr. Thackeray himself endorses the view that FDI s would not benefit. Then how to break the stalemate. My humble opinion, that trade unionism to be abolished by proper legislation and grievance cell established to address the workers’problrms with a humanitarian approach. Still if a labour er’s problem stands unresolved fast labour courts constituted.

  2. After the JDU now the Shiv Sena is baring its fangs. The BJP should not rest complacent on its huge victory.Remember the adage “Pride comes before the fall”.

  3. Heavy industry – which is one of the lightest portfolios in Delhi – has got tagged on to Maharashtra, a heavily industrialised state, since at least the time of Shri Manohar Joshi.

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