A day after both chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and cooperation minister Chandrakant Patil indicated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was stepping up attempts to get the Shiv Sena to join the government, Sena leaders said they will wait for a respectable offer before taking any decision.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said they will play the role of principal opposition, and their leader Eknath Shinde is touring Maharashtra to understand problems such as farmer suicides and power crisis, among others. Raut denied talks were taking place between the two parties.
MP Gajanan Kirtikar said, “If there is a respectable offer, the Sena will certainly consider it. Our chief Uddhav Thackeray will take a call.”
Dodging the question, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray thanked the people of Konkan for standing by the Sena and defeating Rane both in the Lok Sabha, where his son MP Nilesh lost to Sena MP Vinayak Raut, and in the Vidhan Sabha where he lost to Naik. “We will chart out a plan and get funds sanctioned for the Malwan fort,” Uddhav said.
Congressman Narayan Rane, who lost to Sena’s Vaibhav Naik in Malvan, said the Sena was desperate to join the state government. “This like a family holiday for Uddhav. What has the Shiv Sena done for the area? For so many years they have only promised and done nothing,” Rane said.