Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Tuesday took a swipe at the RSS for suggesting that senior BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will not remain in the opposition for long.
Ruling out possibility of any change of guard in Maharashtra, the Sena asked Fadnavis, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, to “continue doing his job”.
In an open-ended remark, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) general secretary Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi recently said that Devendra Fadnavis will remain as ‘ex-chief minister of Maharashtra’ for a limited period only.
“RSS leader ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi made a hollow statement in Nagpur (that) Devendra Fadnavis will not remain in the opposition for long, and (that) the prefix ‘ex’ added to his name will soon disappear,” the Sena said in the editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“This comment may have pleased opposition parties mentally, but nothing of that sort will happen in Maharashtra.
Hence, Devendra ji we can only suggest (you) to go ahead with doing (your) job as the Leader of the Opposition,” it said.
Fadnavis had headed the BJP-led state government, of which the Sena was also a part, during 2014 to 2019.
However, after the assembly elections in October last year, the Sena fell out with the BJP demanding the post of chief minister. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party later joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in November last year.
The Sena and the BJP came face to face recently, after the opposition party boycotted the customary tea party hosted by the government on the eve of the Budget session on Sunday.
Fadnavis recently alleged that there was no proper communication among the ruling constituents of the MVA–Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
Dismissing Fadnavis’ contention, the Sena said none of the MLAs of the MVA could be poached.
Fadnavis was the chief minister for “80 hours” (during his second term) despite communication from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Raj Bhavan, Union Home Ministry and agencies like ED and CBI, it stated.
“Hence, the communication among us is better than that among you,” it said.
The Sena said at least 50 out of the total 105 MLAs of the BJP in Maharashtra are ideologically at variance with that party.
Several Congress and NCP leaders had joined the BJP ahead of the Assembly election held last year.
The Sena further alleged that the BJP had engaged into horse trading as it poached Opposition leaders.
“The MVA or Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray does not seem to be taking that route (of horse trading) at least as on today. But what will happen to the Leader of the Opposition in case they decide to ‘communicate’ with the 105 MLAs?” the Sena asked.