After nearly two years of separation, Uddhav Thackeray made a remark on Friday (September 17, 2021) that has sparked talk of a possible Shiv Sena-BJP reunion. Maharashtra’s power corridors are buzzing with speculation of an alliance after the Chief Minister addressed leaders, including Union minister Raosaheb Danve, as past and potential ‘future colleagues’ at a ceremony in Aurangabad.
Addressing the dignitaries on the dais, Thackeray said, “My former, current, and if we come together, future colleagues.”
Danve, a Maharashtra-based BJP leader, was present, as was senior Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat.
Later, the Shiv Sena leader explained that he mentioned former and current colleagues because there were politicians from all parties on the dais.
“If everybody comes together, they can become future colleagues too. Time will tell,” Maharashtra CM added cryptically.
It should be mentioned that after the 2019 Assembly elections, the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena broke ranks with the BJP and formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Surprisingly, state BJP chairman Chandrakant Patil remarked earlier this week that he should no longer be referred to as a “former” state minister because things had changed.
However, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, the current Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, responded to Thackeray’s remarks by saying that the Chief Minister must have realised that the state was suffering as a result of the Sena’s “unnatural alliance” with the NCP and Congress.
“He must have expressed his thoughts after realizing what kind of people he is working with….Everything is possible in politics, but the state BJP is not eyeing power. We are an efficient opposition party and will continue our work,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
Sanjay Raut, the leader of the Shiv Sena, joined the party and attempted to diminish Thackeray’s remarks by claiming that Danve was everyone’s friend.
“When he was state BJP chief, all was well. There is nothing earth-shaking in the comment. Those who want to come with us can join and become future colleagues. Don’t read too much into this,” Raut said.