MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader MP Sanjay Raut meeting with the Former Maharashtra CM and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday at suburban luxury hotel generated a flutter in political circle.
It posed a big question whether the BJP and Shiv Sena are set to come together again after its divorce in November 2019?
However, Sanjay Raut and the BJP leaders clarified that the meeting should not be read through political prisam. Sanjay Raut wanted to take the interview of Devendra Fadnavis, Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of his series of mega interviews for the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Fadnavis told Raut that they will give interview to Sena mouth piece but there should be no editing and cutting the portion of any leader's interview in news paper.
But no one believed this clarification by both the parties leaders as it is viewed in various political angles and as a significant political development.
Sanjay Raut on Sunday clarified that in politics they have to keep the dialogue with Oppositions as well. "Devendra Fadanvis is not their enemy and in politics no one is your permanent enemy. We both respective the central and the state leadership," Raut said.
Sources in Maha Vikas Aghadi said that there is no question of Sena breaking from Congress and the NCP, but Sena wants to open the line of communication with BJP leadership as well. "That line was cut off in 2019 when Uddhav Thackeray became the chief minister of Maharashtra by ditching its 30 years old ally BJP. Both the parties leadership were not in talking terms therefore this meeting is important," said source from BJP.
A NCP leader said, "Devendra Fadnavis is no more in power and chief minister of Maharashtra but he is facing big herculan task to keep his flock together in absence of power. BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs in 288 members of the house in Maharashtra. BJP has assured them that sooner they will be in power in state. Now, it is almost a year, so the restlessness has increased in the BJP camp in Maharashtra."
“In last 15 days that there is strong buzz in the political circle that the 15 sitting BJP MLAs are likely to switch the side and join Maha Vikas Aghadi because they realised that the BJP will not form the government in Maharashtra now. However, by meeting Sanjay Raut, Fadnavis wants to give a mixed political signal to his party people that they are working on something even though nothing is happening in reality. But he wants to create some flutter around this meeting,” said source requestong anonymity.
Senior BJP leader said that BJP is at the back-foot at the national level over the farm bill and its alliance Shironami Akali Dal decision of parting away from NDA has put BJP in trouble.
"The Congress and the NCP took the stand to oppose the bill and not even implement it, but Shiv Sena yet to clear its stand over it. BJP through Fadnavis wants to give the message that they need Sena’s help at this moment. BJP wants assurance that the Maha Vikas Aghadi should not make any major decision over the farm bill. Narendra Modi is concerned about his anti-farmer image. Therefore, this meeting was important," BJP leader said requested anonymity.
While Sena leader claimed that Raut meeting with Fadnavis has also helped them to keep the Congress and NCP in check. "This interview reason or excuse can open the channel of communications with BJP which was shut down in 2019. It is always better to have a dialogue in politics with across the party. BJP is an old ally and power in centre so it will help us in many ways during the crucial times. However, we are not parting away from the current government and remarrying with BJP at all. We are very much enjoying the power with the Congress and the NCP. We have more liberty to run the government now,” Sena leader said.
Devendra Fadnavis also clarified that they are not in hurry to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government, but it will topple because of their own mistake, "We do not need to put any effort to topple this Maha Vikas Aghadi government. They are making a lot of blunder so time will come soon that there will be BJP government in Maharashtra," Fadanvis said.