New Delhi: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis attacked Shiv Sena on Monday, a day after Congress leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan claimed that it tried to join hands with Congress after the 2014 Assembly Election too, saying that ‘this only exposed the Sena’s real character.’
Speaking to media in the national capital, Fadnavis, now the leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, said, “Whatever he (Chavan) has said is very shocking and should be taken very seriously. This revelation only shows the Shiv Sena’s true character. Does it not believe in things like ideology, principles and values? Is power everything for them?”
“It must be true because a former Chief Minister who has made these claims. Shiv Sena needs to explain its compulsion for an alliance with ideologically opposite parties,” he added.
Speaking to news agency PTI on Sunday, Chavan, when questioned what made the Congress join hands with the Sena, had said that the Sena, as well as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had approached him to form a coalition government to stop the BJP. “But I immediately rejected the offer then and said winning and losing is normal in politics. In the past too, we lost elections and sat in the opposition,” he had further said.
The BJP and the Sena contested the 2014 state polls independently, with the former emerging as the single-largest party with 122 seats, followed by the latter with 63 seats. They joined hands post-polls to form the government, with Fadnavis becoming the Chief Minister.
Five years later, they contested in a pre-poll alliance, winning a clear mandate with 161 seats in the 288-seat Assembly. The now-former three-decade allies, however, then went their separate ways as the BJP refused to yield to the Sena’s demand to share the Chief Minister’s chair. The snub prompted the Sena to enter into talks with the Congress-NCP combine and eventually form the coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was chosen as its leader and succeeded Fadnavis as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra.