It’s Raining Barbs: Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut Interviews CM Fadnavis

Fadnavis indicated that the BJP and its bickering ally Shiv Sena will fight the 2019 polls together.

3 min read
Sanjay Raut and Devendra Fadnavis

“Uddhav Thackeray could have become the chief minister of Maharashtra if the Shiv Sena hadn’t been adamant over seat-sharing in 2014,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while being ‘interviewed’ by firebrand Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on IBN Lokmat’s ‘Maharashtrian of the Year 2018’ awards on Tuesday, 10 April.

The interview began on a lighter note with Fadnavis saying, “Ha ‘Saamna’ fix nahi” (‘this face-off is not fixed’, referring to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna), but soon escalated into a heated exchange over issues like violence in Bhima-Koregaon and the souring ties between Shiv Sena and BJP in the state.

‘Sena Will Join BJP in 2019’

As Fadnavis claimed that ‘secular but Hindutva’ parties will come together in 2019 to fight the ‘pseudo-secular’ opposition, Raut asked Fadnavis if the BJP had forgotten Shiv Sena’s ‘secular-Hindutva stand’ during the 2014 elections.

Fadnavis replied that the Shiv Sena was responsible for ties being snapped in 2014, as it remained adamant over the issue of seat-sharing.

BJP offered 147 seats but Shiv Sena was adamant on 151. We were given 127 seats. Shiv Sena could have easily won 120 seats and that would have paved the way for Uddhav ji or you to be the CM.
Devendra Fadnavis, CM, Karnataka

Raut asked Fadnavis how he claims to know Shiv Sena's future plans when he can't even predict RSS' next move.

“Shiv Sena is a political party and hence it is easy to predict what will it do in future. RSS does not have any political compulsions. Their programmes are fixed at times a year in advance and they execute them as per their schedule,” replied Fadnavis.

Fadnavis expressed faith that Shiv Sena will ally with the BJP in the 2019 elections since Balasaheb Thackeray would have done the same.

‘Bhima Koregaon Violence Was Uncalled For’

When asked about the government’s delayed response to the violence that took place in Bhima-Koregaon in January, Fadnavis said that the incident and its aftermath were uncalled for.

The Bhima Koregaon episode was wrong. There was a peaceful event being held. Over eight lakh people took part in protests but nobody was injured. Only one individual died due to reasons that were totally different from what had been projected.
Devendra Fadnavis

He added that the disruption of life and property that took place then is comparatively much less than other states.

Change Not Possible Overnight: CM on Farmer's Issues

When quizzed about the recent farmer protests and the worrying numbers of farmer suicides in the state, Fadnavis said that the situation was improving since the BJP came to power in the state and that change doesn’t happen overnight.

When our government took over, over 20,000 villages were drought hit. The numner has come down to 18,000. The yeild this year was good despite 75% rainfall. This was possible only due to the government’s irrigation programmes.
Devendra Fadnavis

'Who Holds the Remote Control of Maharashtra Govt?'

“Would have loved to let Balasaheb (Thackeray) hold the remote control of the government if he was alive,” said Fadnavis when he was asked who takes the decisions for the state.

Fadnavis said that nobody from the centre, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP chief Amit Shah ever called him up to dictate matters.

PM Modi has only ordered us to take cognisance of the state functioning. He has always advised us to take people-friendly measures, but has asked us to refrain from making tall promises that we might not be able to fulfil in future.
Devendra Fadnavis

(With inputs from PTI and IBN Lokmat)

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