MUMBAI: Refuting the claim of former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan that the Shiv Sena had proposed to form a coalition government with his party and the NCP after the 2014 assembly election, the Shiv Sena on Monday challenged him to reveal names of the leaders who made the proposal to him.
“I do not know of any such proposal from our side,” Shiv Sena leader and minister for parliamentary affairs and transport Adv Anil Parab said here on Monday while reacting to expose made by Chavan.
“Since Chavan has made the expose about the proposal, he would be able to tell more about it. He should reveal names of the leaders who made such a proposal to him,” Parab said.
In an interview given to news agency PTI, Chavan, on Sunday, revealed that the Shiv Sena had proposed to form a government along with the Congress and the NCP way back in 2014 to keep the BJP away from power. Though Chavan added that the proposal was rejected by him that time, his expose led to a political turmoil in Maharashtra. While the NCP made it clear that no such proposal was made by the Shiv Sena, the BJP said that the expose brought out the real character of the Shiv Sena.
“The Shiv Sena might have made a proposal to Chavan. But, they had not contacted the NCP back then,” said senior NCP leader Nawab Malik.
“Since Prithviraj Chavan has said so, such a proposal might have been made. But, Congress is a different party. They might have received the proposal back then. But, I can certainly say that the NCP had not received any such proposal,” he added.
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, expressed shock at the expose and trained guns at the Shiv Sena saying that it exposes the real character of the party. “The expose is very surprising. A leader like Prithviraj Chavan has said so. Hence, it needs to be taken seriously. This exposes the real character of the Shiv Sena. Does the party not believe in any of the things like ideology, principles, values? Is the power everything for them,” Fadnavis said and added, “the Shiv Sena needs to explain.”
Chavan, while reflecting on the question about why Congress decided to go with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra during his interview, had revealed that the Shiv Sena even wanted such a coalition in 2014 to stop the BJP. “They had approached me with the proposal. However, I rejected it outright. Victories and defeats make the politics and we hade made up our mind to sit in the opposition as we had lost the election,” he had said in his interview.
Even after the assembly election in 2019, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was not ready for a coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena but she relented after long deliberations, Chavan said in the interview.
Chavan alleged the Devendra Fadnavis government tried to “kill the opposition” and there was a “lot of corruption” in the state.
“During this time, efforts were made to destroy democracy. Around 40 MLAs of Congress and NCP were made to switch sides, people were blackmailed and lured with offers of government positions,” he claimed, adding that another term for the BJP would have “completely destroyed democracy”.
“It was under these circumstances that we decided to change our role and thought about an alternative government. After a conflict between BJP and Shiv Sena, I initiated the move to form the alternative government and discussions about it began,” the senior Congress leader said.
“Initially, the party high command was not in favour of joining hands with Shiv Sena. Sonia ji and Congress leaders from Kerala did not agree. But I held discussions with all MLAs and other leaders of the party. It was accepted that the BJP is our number one ideological enemy and everyone agreed to form the alternative government,” Chavan said.