Uddhav Thackeray refers to Union minister as future colleague, BJP plays safe
Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena supremo sparked a fresh speculation in political circles on Friday after he referred to Union minister Raosaheb Danve as a probable “future colleague”.
Addressing an event in Aurangabad where he shared a platform with Danve, Thackeray said (loosely translated from Marathi), “Present here is also my former and if we (Sena and BJP) come together, a future colleague…”
Thackeray later reportedly said he only made the remark on a lighter not as he had met his old friend after a long time, according to an NDTV report.
He was further quoted as saying, “I like the railways for one reason. You cannot leave the tracks and change direction. Yes, but if there is a diversion you can come to our station. But the engine does not leave the tracks.”
Danve, a Union minister of state for railways and BJP MP from Jalna, soon after said the two parties shared the same ideology and his party was always willing to renew ties with the Sena.
The duo was attending the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Aurangabad zilla parishad building.
Later, leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said anything can happen in politics but there was no scope of the possibility of a reunion between the two parties at present. “We are playing the role of an effective opposition party," Fadnavis added.
State BJP president Chandrakant Patil said he had no idea what the chief minister was thinking while making the statement.
The Sena severed ties with its decades-old partner in 2019 over power-sharing issues and joined hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) as a ruling alliance in the state.
Ever since, there has been constant murmurs of dissent and open clashes among the three partners.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Nana Patole, who earlier comments had led to rifts within the alliance, said the chief minister was only cracking a joke and the MVA government would complete its term. “The chief minister sometimes likes to crack a joke and that is exactly what he did. This government will run its full five year term. There is no problem with the government in Maharashtra,” Patole said.
(With inputs from bureau)