MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked ally Shiv Sena to stop attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cautioning that it will only boomerang on it. However, he asserted that their alliance is intact and the government will complete its full term, despite frequent taunts and digs from Sena.
"Speaking about Modiji will only put the Shiv Sena in bad light and people do not like it at all. As far as I am concerned I am ready to face and give them a proper reply. So I do not care. "Governance and politics are two different things.
The Sena should refrain from criticising the Prime Minister, but I am ok with their criticism," Fadnavis told PTI in an interview. Fadnavis (46), who heads the first BJP-led Government in Maharashtra which has sailed into its third year, also dwelt on other current issues like the campaign by the Maratha community for reservation, the Vidarbha issue and the controversy regarding his intervention in defusing the stand-off over Karan Johar's film "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'.
On the film row, the Chief Minister said that in hindsight, he feels the issue could have been handled in a better way. In a veiled dig at the previous Congress-NCP regimes, he said the "established leadership" in the state are trying to use peoples' anger that has now spilled on to the streets in the form of silent protests by Marathas to carry out their agenda against him either directly or by "proxy" means.
Fadnavis, however, rejected the apprehension voiced by observers that the Maratha morcha and reaction to it from the OBC and Dalit outfits, could cause caste tensions in the state. He noted that the Maratha community had only raised its demands without seeking to upset the benefits of other social segments and the same is the case of OBCs and Dalits.
He said the Government has already stated its commitment to meet the genuine demands of the Maratha community. The fee waiver scheme announced recently is an initiative that will benefit a large number of students from the community.
Expressing confidence that the BJP and Sena will complete the full term of the government, he said, "We are two different parties and there is bound to be some friction owing to different ideologies in matters of policy implementations and style of governing. "But I can claim that we have been able to run the government successfully where all major policy decisions have been undertaken by a unanimous vote," he said.