Maharashtra government strong, says Raut amid rumours of rift

Reports point to growing differences between the NCP-Shiv Sena alliance over CM Thackeray’s reluctance on lifting of lockdown

A meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (left) and NCP chief Sharad Pawar (right) on Monday had sparked speculations of a possible breach in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government. Photo: PTI

Quashing rumours that all is not well between the Shiv Sena and its alliance partner NCP, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday (May 26) asserted that the state government is “strong”.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar had a meeting at Thackeray’s house Matoshree on Monday (May 25), sparking speculations of a rift between the two parties over easing of lockdown norms and restarting economic activities.

Reports said that Pawar was not pleased with Thackeray’s unwillingness to lift the lockdown.

Raut, however, did not reveal what transpired between the two leaders.

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“Those doubting about the stability of this government are doing so out of their own grudge. This government is strong,” Raut tweeted in Marathi.

Earlier, on Monday Pawar met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, following which the NCP claimed the meeting took place on the invitation of the governor and no political issues came up for discussion.

Related news: Maharashtra govt says it needs more time to resume flights

However, the timing of the meeting is significant as it took place against the backdrop of strained relations between the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, and the Raj Bhavan.

The NCP is one of the key constituents of MVA. Pawar was one of the key leaders from Maharashtra who had openly complained about Koshyari’s “intervention” in the functioning of the state administration. Recently, senior BJP leader and former state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis complained to the governor about the “failure” of the Thackeray government in handling the COVID-19 crisis.

(With inputs from agencies)

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