BJP to fight polls with Sena but ‘give fitting reply for PM jibe’: Fadnavis

Published on Jan 01, 2019 01:24 PM IST
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, in his rally at Pandharpur, had hit out at the PM with the “chowkidar chor hai” jibe, popularised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi over Rafale deal in a different context.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Sena chief’s the barb against PM Modi was a case of “spitting at the sun” but it would not hamper the prospects of an alliance between the two parties.(HT Photo)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Sena chief’s the barb against PM Modi was a case of “spitting at the sun” but it would not hamper the prospects of an alliance between the two parties.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday the Shiv Sena would be given a fitting reply at an appropriate time for party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘chaukidar’ jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said while the barb was a case of “spitting at the sun”, it would not hamper the prospects of an alliance between the two parties.

Thackeray, in his rally at Pandharpur, hit out at the PM with the “chowkidar chor hai” jibe, popularised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi over Rafale deal in a different context.

“Every reply has its own time and one needs to wait for it. We will gauge who said what and in what context and give a fitting reply,” he said, speaking at a press conference held at Sahyadri guesthouse on Monday.

He, however, quickly replied the two parties would fight the forthcoming elections against the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine to get an NDA government in 2019.

“We don’t give importance to the Shiv Sena’s barb against the Prime Minister, who has been selflessly working for the country without caring for his family or for any personal gains. This is happening in the country for the first time. Such barbs are like spitting at the sun,” he said.

Fadnavis said the BJP did not join hands with the NCP in Ahmednagar to get its mayor but had in fact offered unconditional support to the Shiv Sena.

“I had told our leaders to extend unconditional support to the Shiv Sena if the latter proposed it. However, the Sena leaders wanted us to step forward with our support instead of requesting it. In the absence of any such proposal from the Sena, our local leaders decided to fight the election and NCP corporators supported our candidate in mayoral and deputy mayoral elections,” he said.

The Shiv Sena has criticised the BJP for joining hands with the NCP in the Ahmednagar corporation, calling it an “unholy alliance”.

According to BJP leaders, however, the CM’s strong words don’t have a political message. “We have decided to maintain silence on the attack by our ally. Even the immediate counterattack is unlikely to have an impact as the BJP is not against forming an alliance with the Sena. Both the parties have been targeting each other during the elections and it was witnessed even during local body elections in the past. Neither us nor the Sena can afford to play hardball ahead of ensuing elections,” said a BJP leader, on condition of anonymity.

Shiv Sena leader and transport minister Diwakar Raote, however, refused to talk on the CM’s stand.

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