Meeting between Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai sparks off speculationUpdated: Sep 27, 2020, 01:07 IST
A meeting between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut at a five-star suburban hotel on Saturday sparked off speculation in the political circles over whether the two sides are trying to mend their relations amid the slugfest between the two in the past few months.
The meeting assumes significance, as the Sena-led state government is facing flak over the death case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput as well as amid the frosty relationship between the ruling party allies after right-wing trolls have targeted Aaditya Thackeray who is a Sena minister and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s son.
The BJP dismissed any political motive behind the meeting. “Sanjay Raut wanted to meet Devendra Fadnavis to take his interview [for Sena mouthpiece] Saamana]. As Fadnavis wanted the interview to be published unedited, the two decided to meet once before the interview work on the modalities. The interview will take place after Fadnavis returns from Bihar,” said BJP leader Pravin Darekar.
Raut, a strong critic of the BJP, did not react to the media reports on the meeting.
Political analysts have pointed out that there is more to the meeting than what meets the eye. “No one will just meet to discuss an interview. This seems more of a message by the Shiv Sena to its allies Congress-NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) that it still shares good relationship with the BJP,” said political commentator Hemant Desai.
Sena and BJP were ruling allies in state till 2019 and contested Assembly polls together. However, the two had differences over sharing the CM’s post after winning the majority. Thackeray then forged an alliance with Congress and NCP to form a government under him. Sena and BJP have been involved in a bitter tussle since then.