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Thackeray ‘future colleague’ remark sparks speculation about Sena-BJP alliance

Thackeray, while speaking at a government event in Aurangabad, referred to the dignitaries, including minister of state for Railways Danve, on the dais as “my former, current, and if we come together, my future colleagues”
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. (File photo)
Updated on Sep 17, 2021 06:06 PM IST

Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena chief sparked a fresh speculation in political circles on Friday when he referred to Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Raosaheb Danve as a probable “future colleague”.

Thackeray, while speaking at a government event in Aurangabad, referred to the dignitaries, including minister of state for Railways Danve, on the dais as “my former, current, and if we come together, my future colleagues”. He then turned and looked behind, where Danve was seated.

The statement assumes significance in the wake of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) action against his close aide and minister Anil Parab even as it led to speculations of BJP and Sena joining hands.

Both Sena and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said there was no such possibility as of now.

Thackeray later told reporters that “time will tell” what he meant by future colleagues. He said, “Leaving aside the lighter part of it, I feel that politics should not become perverse, as it has taken shape lately, and it should stop. There is a Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government in the state and a BJP-led government at the Centre but in the end, we are from this land. Without having any arrogance about the positions we hold, we must use our posts to do good for the state.”

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He added that he asked Danve to come to Mumbai for the Centre’s plan to connect Mumbai and Nagpur through a bullet train project. He said he only meant that all should come together for the development of the state.

Reacting to the statement, Fadnavis said, “We are not eyeing power and we are carrying out the role of an effective Opposition. I think the chief minister has realised that the unnatural alliance is harming Maharashtra and so, he expressed his feelings. In politics, anything can happen but as of today, I do not see any such possibilities.”

Sena leader and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, “Whoever wants to join MVA can come and change their status from future to current colleagues...When Danve was the BJP state president, everything was running smoothly. If CM has called him, then it is for bullet train project. There has to be good communication between state government and central ministers.”

Thackeray’s statement gained momentum also because just a day ago, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said he shouldn’t be called a ‘former’ minister and added that people will know soon why he said so. Reacting to that, Raut said, “Chandrakant Patil might be made governor of Nagaland, as per my information. Therefore, he said that he shouldn’t be called a ‘former minister’. If he wants to get rid of the ‘former’ title then either he must join MVA or accept the offer to become Nagaland governor.”

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