“Requested Uddhav Thackeray 3-4 Times To Go With Natural Ally BJP”: Eknath Shinde In Delhi

Mr. Shinde is on a two-day Delhi trip along with his Deputy Devendra Fadnavis to discuss cabinet expansion with the central BJP leadership.

¬†Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde today said that the ¬†Shiv Sena MLAs who parted ways from the Thackeray camp had tried to convince former Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray “three to four times” to go with “natural ally” BJP. Several Sena legislators were upset with the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and had unsuccessfully tried several times to speak to Mr. Thackeray about it before launching an all-out rebellion, he said.

Mr. Shinde is on a two-day Delhi trip along with his Deputy Devendra Fadnavis to discuss cabinet expansion with the central BJP leadership.

While interacting with the media in the national capital, he reiterated that the MLAs backing him are the real Shiv Sena. “We have the numbers and have been recognized by the assembly speaker,” he said.

On the heated dispute over who gets to use the party symbol, he said they have faith in the judiciary. “We are Shiv Sena and haven’t done anything illegal. We have been recognized as the Legislative party,” he added.

Refuting charges that his ally BJP can go to any extent to be in power, Mr. Shinde defended the party by pointing to electoral numbers. “I have 50 MLAs, BJP has 115. People anticipated that the Chief Minister will be from the BJP,” he said. “Can people now say the same thing about the BJP? They can’t. A small worker like me got a chance to be the Chief Minister,” he added.

He also alleged that Uddhav Thackeray neglected Bal Thackeray’s (Shiv Sena founder ) Hindutva while the BJP supported it.

Backing the Chief Minister, his Deputy and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis extended support and commitment to making the new government successful.

“My party made me the Chief Minister earlier, now as per the need of the party, we have abided by the party’s decision. Eknath Shinde is our leader and CM. We’ll work under him. The injustice was undone and our natural alliance was revived,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

“It has nothing to do with having a big heart. I follow all the instructions of our leaders. I am with Mr. Shinde. We will work under him very well,” he said. Mr. Shinde had earlier thanked Mr. Fadnavis for having a big heart and giving him the top job even when the BJP had most MLAs, the senior BJP leader said.

“Shiv Sena is of Balasaheb Thackeray and we are in alliance with Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena,” Mr. Fadnavis added.

Eknath Shinde took oath as Chief Minister and Mr. Fadnavis as Deputy Chief Minister of the new government on June 30 after Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray resigned following a rebellion in his party

Maharastra CM and Deputy CM have already met BJP President JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and President Ram Nath Kovind. They are also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the newfound allies move towards constituting their council of ministers.


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