'Were never enemies': Devendra Fadnavis on BJP-Shiv Sena's possible reunion
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the ruling Shiv Sena "were never enemies." His comment comes amid reports of a possible reunion between the two parties, that were once allies. However, the Shiv Sena has been rejecting such reports, reiterating that its coalition government in the state will complete full term.
'They were our friends'
"We (Sena and BJP) were never enemies. They were our friends and people whom they fought against, they formed a government with them and they left us," Fadnavis told reporters yesterday. Asked about the possibility of the former allies coming together, the BJP leader remarked an "appropriate decision" will be taken in view of the situation. "There are no ifs and buts in politics."
Fadnavis to become Minister in Union Cabinet?
The rumored talks between the BJP and Sena could be a factor behind delay in the Union Cabinet expansion. However, BJP sources denied this, according to NDTV. Further, according to a possible deal being discussed between the BJP and Sena, Fadnavis would move to Delhi as a Minister in the Union Cabinet and Thackeray would continue as Maharashtra CM with two deputies from BJP.
What happened in the 2019 Maharashtra elections?
In the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena had parted ways. The BJP then tried to form the government with the Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar as Fadnavis's deputy. However, that coalition collapsed within a few days. Soon after, Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray became the Chief Minister after joining hands with the NCP and the Indian National Congress.
Reports say BJP, Sena leaders are holding discussions
Fadnavis's change of heart has come at a time when reports suggest that discussions are underway between leaders of the BJP and Sena. It also coincides with action by central probe agencies against leaders of the NCP. In April, former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had resigned after a CBI probe was launched against him on corruption allegations.
Last month, Thackeray had met with PM Modi
In fact, last month, Thackeray had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fueling speculation about a renewed partnership. However, Sena said the meet was personal and part of protocol. More recently, there were reports that Sena MP Sanjay Raut had met with BJP leader Ashish Shelar. Reacting to them, Raut tweeted, "The more such rumors spread, the stronger the MVA alliance will become."
Earlier, Sena MLA had suggested alliance with BJP
In other similar developments, Sena had hit out at the Congress after the latter announced it would go solo in the next local body elections Separately, Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had written to Thackeray in June, asking him to team up with the BJP again. He said that would prevent Sena leaders from being harassed by central probe agencies.