CM’s dinner diplomacy unlikely to dilute Sena’s aggressive stand in legislature

Mumbai: Shiv Sena’s aggressive stand in the legislature against the government over several issues is unlikely to be diluted even after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ dinner diplomacy.

Fadnavis, who drove to Matoshree, the residence of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, for dinner on Sunday night, surprised everybody and the political circles were abuzz with speculations that the CM tried to mend ways with the warring alliance partner.

The Shiv Sena was never comfortable even after joining the government. Shiv Sena’s ministers of state always complained that they have hardly any rights and do not have much work. They along with a few firebrand Sena MLAs even cornered the State government and embarrassed the BJP several times in the past few months. They were seen to be more vocal against the government over issues like drought relief during budget session of the legislature. The party had even voiced concerns over the new labour policy that the state government has decided to adopt.

Also, relationship between the ruling partners had nosedived following war of words in past few months, which was primarily aimed at gaining upper hand in the upcoming elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Thackeray had even skipped the swearing in ceremony of newly inducted cabinet ministers after the Sena got only two MoS berths in the state cabinet after a hard bargain and had to be content with the home portfolio for one of them.

When asked about the relationship between the two parties and the dinner diplomacy, Shiv Sena leader in the Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe said that both the leaders share very nice personal equations and there is nothing odd in CM’s visiting Matoshree for discussions over dinner.

“However, the meeting is unlikely to change the Shiv Sena’s stand in the legislature,” she added.

Gorhe participated in the debate over Kopardi rape and murder case in the legislature today and said that she would also be participating in the route march organized by followers of Dr B R Ambedkar over the issue of his printing press being demolished by trustees of the institution.

A Shiv Sena minister of state jokingly said that the diplomacy might bring more freedom and more authority to them.

“While the CM’s dinner diplomacy might have a limited effect in the legislature, it might have more effect outside the house,” a BJP legislature said.

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