Blow hot blow cold: BJP’s Fadnavis says ‘Sena was never an enemy’

The former CM said ‘appropriate decision’ would be taken on restoration of ties when the time comes

Fadnavis Uddhav
'They were our friends,' said former BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. File Photo

For the BJP, Shiv Sena has “never” been an “enemy” – the parting of ways in 2019 awaiting “appropriate decision” to get reversed. That’s the takeaway from what former BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the media on Sunday (July 4).

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena shares power with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and the Congress in Maharashtra.

“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,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying when he was asked about his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the possibility of a rapprochement with Sena.

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“There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken as per prevailing situations,” Fadnavis said.

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The reports of reconciliation between the two Hindutva parties come amid action being taken by Central agencies against leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party, the most significant among them is Anil Deshmukh, the former home minister.

The Shiv Sena was alarmed when the party’s Thane MLA Pratap Sarnaik in June wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to “reconcile” with the BJP “before it is too late”, saying such a move will save leaders like him from “problems being created by Central agencies.”

Both the Shiv Sena and the NCP say central agencies are being misused against opposition parties to destabilize the alliance government in Maharashtra.

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The reports of strain within the ruling alliance were also fed by remarks by some Congress leaders. The Congress later clarified they are with the Uddhav Thackeray-led alliance for the next five years.

Earlier this week, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The same day several other leaders like cabinet minister Jeetendra Awhad, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Aditya Thackeray also met him.

Udhav had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Shiv Sena explained it as a personal meeting and protocol and said it values personal relations irrespective of political affiliations.

On July 3, Sena MP Sanjay Raut tried to clear the air. “The more such rumours spread, the stronger the MVA alliance will become,” he tweeted.

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