A day after NDA ally Shiv Sena joined hands with the opposition to protest demonetisation, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday spoke to its chief Uddhav Thackeray and is believed to have conveyed the BJP’s unhappiness over the move.
During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Singh is understood to have told Thackeray that Shiv Sena joining hands with the opposition, despite being part of the Modi government, was sending a confusing signal and such an action was avoidable.
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday had taken part in a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and participated by Aam Aadmi Party and National Conference.
The parties lodged their protests before President Pranab Mukherjee against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and conveyed concern over the hardship being faced by the common people following the government action.
Sena is the oldest ally of BJP and part of the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.
While the other parties which took part in the march sought immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, the Shiv Sena had differed on the issue and insisted the government extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.
“We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).
“We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena had said.
In Mumbai, a BJP leader told PTI, “Singh called up Thackeray and tried to gauge the reasons for the ruling ally’s stand on this crucial issue”.
Singh is the third top BJP leader to have spoken to Uddhav Thackeray in the last few days on this issue, the BJP leader said.
Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu have also spoken to Thackeray, he said.
Sena, through its stinging editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ has been targeting the Government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
On November 15, in a sarcastic take on the emotional pitch of PM over the demonetisation, Shiv Sena had said his decision to discontinue high value currency notes would not put his life in danger unlike his predecessors Indira and Rajiv Gandhi who were assassinated while fighting for greater goals of the country.
Earlier, the Sena had described the demonetisation move as “demonic and unsystematic” and said it has led to “financial anarchy” in the country.
The ruling ally had also that said instead of striking Pakistan, Modi has wounded Indian citizens who do not have any black money.