Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday said Shiv Sena should clarify over Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s statement that it had proposed to form a coalition government with Congress and NCP after the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections to stop the BJP from coming to power in the state.
Hitting back at Fadnavis, Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said Monday night that her party never “sabotaged” its leaders.
Fadnavis, now Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, said Chavan’s remarks were very surprising and revealed the “true face” of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which in November formed the government in the state along with Congress and NCP.
“What Chavan has said is very surprising. Coming from someone of his stature, it has to be taken seriously. The disclosure has revealed the real face of Shiv Sena,” Fadnavis told media in Delhi.
“The Shiv Sena should come out with a clarification over Chavan’s remarks,” Fadnavis said.
Meanwhile, in an apparent reference to claims by some state BJP leaders that their political career was sabotaged from within, Kayande said, “the Sena did everything in open. We didn’t sabotage leaders of our own party.”
Chavan said in an interview Sunday that after the 2014 Assembly polls, Shiv Sena and NCP had approached him to form a coalition government to stop the BJP, but the Congress had rejected the demand immediately.
Even after the Assembly elections in 2019, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was not ready for a coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party but she relented after long deliberations, Chavan said.
In November, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress formed a coalition government in Maharashtra under the leadership of Thackeray.
Asked what made the Congress join hands with the ideologically opposite Sena, Chavan said, “A similar situation emerged in 2014 as well. Then too, Shiv Sena and NCP had approached me to form a coalition government to stop the BJP. 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.”
In 2014, BJP and Shiv Sena fought the Maharashtra polls without an alliance, so did Congress and NCP. After the elections, BJP ran the government but later Shiv Sena also joined it.