'Were Never Enemies': Fadnavis on Potential BJP-Shiv Sena Reunion
Fadnavis' comment comes at a time when central agencies are taking action against NCP leaders.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who usually stands on the offensive against the ruling alliance in the state, on Sunday, 4 July, said that the BJP and Shiv Sena were “never enemies”, though there might be ideological and political differences.
This comes amid speculations of a rift within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state. However, the ruling alliance consisting of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Congress, has consistently tried to dispel such rumours.
Fadnavis, on being asked by reporters whether there is a possibility of the two former allies coming together, said an "appropriate decision" will be taken as per the prevailing situation.
Fadnavis added, "Our friend (Shiv Sena) contested the 2019 Assembly elections with us. But after polls, they (Sena) joined hands with the very people (NCP and Congress) against whom we contested the polls," news agency PTI reported.
On being asked about his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and whether the Sena and BJP will get back together, Fadnavis said, “There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken as per prevailing situations,” NDTV reported.
The extended friendship also comes at a time when central agencies have started taking action against NCP leader Ajit Pawar. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 1 July had said that it had attached properties amounting to nearly Rs 65.75 crore in connection with the alleged Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank scam. Pawar however, called the action “politically motivated.”
Both the Shiv Sena and the NCP have claimed that central agencies are being misused against Opposition parties to destabilise the three-party alliance in Maharashtra.
Fadnavis, however, said that central investigating agencies are probing various cases in Maharashtra on orders of the high court and there is no political pressure on them, PTI reported.
In the 2019 Assembly elections, the BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, but needed 40 MLAs to prove a majority. The party had leaned on Ajit Pawar to bring in 54 NCP MLAs, but the gamble didn't work. Soon after being elected as the deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar resigned citing personal reasons, which led to Fadnavis giving up his post as CM after an 80-hour stint.
Moreover, the Shiv Sena and the BJP had fallen out after the elections over the issue of the chief minister's post, which the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had staked claim to. The Sena later joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Meanwhile, the speculations have also come since a one-on-one meeting between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. The Shiv Sena had called it a personal meeting and a protocol.
Further, reacting to reports that Sena MP Sanjay Raut met BJP leader Ashish Shelar on 3 July, Raut tweeted, "The more such rumours spread, the stronger the MVA alliance will become. We may have political and ideological differences, but if we come face-to-face at public functions, we will cordially greet each other. I have had coffee with Ashish Shelar openly.”
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV)
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