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Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘future colleague’ remark sparks speculation

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray   | Photo Credit: PTI

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday raised speculation about a BJP-Sena reunion after he alluded to senior BJP leader and Union Minister Raosaheb Danve as a probable “future colleague” during a public function in Aurangabad.

Mr. Thackeray and Mr. Danve, who is the Minister of State for Railways, shared the stage at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Aurangabad zilla parishad building. The Chief Minister began his speech addressing Mr. Danve with the remark, “Present here is my former and if we come together, a future colleague….”

Despite Mr. Thackeray later implying that it was just a light-hearted remark as he had met his “old friend” (Mr. Danve) after a long time, the Chief Minister’s statements quickly lent grist for the political mill. “My meaning was just that…if he [Mr. Danve] comes with us then he will be a future colleague…however, time will only decide what is in store,” Mr. Thackeray said, while adding cryptically, “I like the railways for one reason. You cannot leave the tracks and change direction. Yes, but if there is a diversion you can come to our station. But the engine does not leave the tracks.”

Speaking later, Mr. Danve said that Mr. Thackeray’s remarks possible hinted at his frustration with his alliance partners (the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress) and that the BJP was willing to renew ties with the Sena owing to their similar ideologies.

However, other leaders from both the Opposition BJP and the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government preferred a more guarded reaction.

Former Chief Minister and the BJP Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Devendra Fadnavis said Mr. Thackeray’s statements were further evidence that he was done with his coalition partners. “Perhaps the Chief Minister must have finally realised that he has had it with this unnatural alliance...While anything can happen in politics, I don’t see it happening immediately, at this very moment,” he said.

NCP leader Jayant Patil said, “Perhaps Mr. Danve or some other big BJP name is in the process of leaving the party and joining the Sena. So, the CM’s statement is important in that aspect.”

He urged the BJP to watch its step.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:55:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uddhav-thackerays-future-colleague-remark-sparks-speculation/article36523833.ece

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