By Anand Singh and Quaid Najmi
Mumbai/New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) With Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut saying on Wednesday that ‘Suryayaan has landed safely on Maharashtra’, and nobody should be surprised if it also arrives in Delhi, the Shiv Sena has given a loaded hint that the alliance of the Sena-Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress may campaign in Jharkhand and Delhi assembly elections with eyes on 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to media persons Raut said: “I had predicted that our ‘Suryayaan’ will alight on the sixth floor of matralaya (office of chief minister). But everyone was laughing then. And now our ‘Suryayaan’ has made a smooth and safe landing. And in the coming days if it lands in Delhi also, then no one should be surprised.”
A senior NCP leader, requesting anonymity, told IANS: “In the near future, we may discuss and jointly participate in the Jharkhand assembly poll campaigns and we are in touch with our other alliance partners to prepare a schedule.”
The leader pointed out that the Jharkhand assembly polls is scheduled in five phases, starting from November 30 to December 20.
“Once we are done in Maharashtra by tomorrow (the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackarey as Chief Minister) and the government settles down, then we will prepare a schedule for assembly campaigning from December 5 onwards,” he said.
He added that the Shiv Sena and NCP will also ask the Jharkhand Congress and its alliance partner Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha to indicate its requirements for the campaign.
Another senior NCP leader, in the know of the ongoing developments in Maharashtra, said that the alliance partners are likely to hold talks with the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in New Delhi to contest the assembly polls in partnership to give a tough challenge to the BJP.
The 70-member Delhi assembly will go to polls in February in 2020.
He said this is the time for all “like minded parties” to stop squabbling among themselves, and instead stop the BJP juggernaut, which has put Constitution and democratic institutions under a threat in last few years.
The AAP, which had bagged 67 out of 70 seats in the 2015 assembly polls, is facing a direct fight from the BJP in the national capital.
The BJP has already launched it’s assembly poll campaign aggressively in the city with several senior leaders launching a tirade against the Kejriwal government over issues like air pollution, drinking water and the unuathorised colonies, and other problems plaguing the national capital.
He said, the three parties WILL highlight how the BJP has been abusing power and misusing the constitutional posts to undermine democracy in the country.
“However, things are still at a planning stage and nothing is decided as of now. A detailed programme will be made only after the three parties hold formal discussions with the AAP in Delhi,” he said.
He pointed out that in the coming days, the senior leaders of Shiv Sena and the NCP will speak to the AAP leaders in Parliament and then also meet party convenor Kejriwal to discuss the issue.
Interestingly, the AAP recently ruled out having any sort of alliance with the Congress in Delhi for the assembly polls, but the developments in Maharashtra may compel it to review it’s stand.
Before Lok Sabha elections, Telugu Dream Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had held several rounds of parleys with NCP President Sharad Pawar, Kejriwal, THE then Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and others.
However, before the Lok Sabha elections the Congress and the AAP refused to forge an alliance in the national capital.
The outcome was that both parties lost all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, and BJP continued it’s winning streak in the national capital second time in a row.