Jalna: Senior BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Danve has said that although he and Shiv Sena leader Arjun Khotkar had ironed out their differences months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, they pretended before people that they were at loggerheads.
Danve, who won the Lok Sabha election from Jalna constituency and made Minister of State Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the Narendra Modi government, was speaking at his felicitation function here on Saturday.
“Sena leader Arjun Khotkar and I had ironed out our differences two months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. But even after that we pretended before the people that were were at odds," Danve, who is also the Maharashtra BJP chief, said.
Although the BJP and the Sena had entered into an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, Khotkar, a minister in the Maharashtra government, had been demanding that he either be allowed to fight from Jalna Lok Sabha seat on Sena ticket or to engage in a “friendly” fight with Danve.
Danve has been an MP from Jalna since 1999, while Khotkar is a four-time MLA from Jalna Assembly seat and is Minister of State for Textile, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, and Fisheries in the Devendra Fadnavis government.
In view of their differences, a marathon meeting had been held mid-March in Aurangabad where Fadnavis, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray were present. After the meeting, Khotkar announced his support for Danve.
“We had ironed out the differences between ourselves as we did not want anybody to take credit about the reconciliation," Danve further said.
Khotkar, who was also present at the event, praised Danve saying under his leadership, the BJP has won many elections. He said Danve should also lead the party during the upcoming Assembly elections. Khotkar said he would personally request BJP president Amit Shah to let Danve continue as the state unit chief.