- “Shiv Sena was never our enemy” said former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on renewal of ties
- Devendra Fadnavis also said “there are no ifs and buts in politics”
The former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, normally seen spearheading the BJPs attack on the Uddhav Thackeray government, on Sunday declaring that the Shiv Sena was “never” an “enemy” of the saffron party.
When the reporters asked whether there is any possibility of the two former allies coming back together, Mr. Fadnavis said an “appropriate decision” will be taken in view of the situation.
Fadnavis told the reporters, “We (Sena and the BJP) were never enemies. They were our friends and people whom they fought against, they formed a government together with them and they left us,” when he was asked about his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the possibility of a rapprochement with Sena.
Fadnavis also said, “There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken as per prevailing situations”.
The declaration of friendship comes amid action taken by central agencies against leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Both the Shiv Sena and the NCP say central agencies are being misused against opposition parties to destabilise the three-party alliance in Maharashtra.
The reports of strain within the ruling alliance were also fed by belligerent remarks from leaders of their ally, Congress. The Congress later clarified they are with the Uddhav Thackeray-led alliance for the next five years.
However, there have been reports that the allies are trying to work through it.
Last week, the Chief of NCP, Sharad Pawar, met with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray. The same day several other leaders including cabinet minister Jeetendra Awhad, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Aditya Thackeray also met him.
In June, Uddhav Thackeray had a one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. The Shiv Sena explained it as a personal meeting and protocol and said it values personal relations irrespective of political affiliations.
On Saturday, in an attempt to dispel speculation, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut tweeted, “The more such rumours spread, the stronger the MVA alliance will become.”
Sanjay Raut was reacting to reports that he met BJP leader Ashish Shelar.
Raut added, “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”.