After row over ad, Shinde and Fadnavis share stage, talk about strong bond

In an apparent display of unity, CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis arrived at the venue together, in a chopper. 
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis. (File Photo | PTI)
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis. (File Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday travelled in a helicopter together for an event here as they reaffirmed their commitment to take forward their alliance and spoke about their strong bond after a controversial advertisement.

A war of words had started between the Shiv Sena and the BJP over a newspaper advertisement that projected Shinde as being more popular in the state than his deputy Fadnavis.

The two sounded exuberant about their old ties and called them ‘Fevicol ka jod.’ Fadnavis referred to the controversial advertisement where he was shown a secondary choice for the chief minister’s post, saying the alliance government “is no so weak that an ad can break it.” Fadnavis was reportedly upset after the ad came out on Tuesday. He skipped two public events with Shinde citing health reasons.

“We formed the government to bring a qualitative change in the lives of people of the state and not for the chair or position,” Fadnavis said. “When we reached Palghar, a friend from the media asked me how I was feeling since the CM and I travelled together in a chopper. I told him that the BJP-Sena journey is 25 years old and in the past year, it has become stronger. No one needs to worry about our journey,” he added.

Shinde said his friendship with his deputy went back to at least 15 years. “We are close friends and share a strong bond. Yeh fevicol ka jod hai, tutega nahi (it is like a bond joined together by Fevicol, a well-known adhesive brand). It will not break no matter how hard you try. Some also call it ‘Jai Viru ki jodi.’ Our ties are not meant for the chair, a post or for selfish interests”, said Eknath Shinde.

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The New Indian Express