Mumbai: Is the state in for yet another political realignment? This was the question being hotly discussed in political circles on Thursday. This was a sequel to video shots showing arch rivals deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray entering the Vidhan Bhavan exchanging pleasanteries and grinning from ear to ear.
The BJP led by Fadnavis has been doing everything possible to politically finish Uddhav Thackeray. But this sudden bonhomie set tongues wagging in the corridors of the Vidhan Bhavan and elsewhere.
Aftermath of Rajnikant's message to Uddhav
Sources said recently Tamil super star Rajnikant had conveyed a message to Uddhav on behalf of the central leadership of the BJP as reported by the FPJ earlier. The meeting, which took place at "Matoshri", the private residence of Uddhav, was described by the Thackeray's as a courtesy call. But, apparently it turns out that it was much more than a courtesy call.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray parted ways after the 2019 assembly elections over the question of which party will get the chief ministership. Uddhav then joined hands with the Congress and the NCP to head the Maha Vikas Aghadi government which was toppled by the BJP last June by persuading Eknath Shinde and 38 of his MLA supporters to join hands with it. The Uddhav faction received a huge blow when the Election Commission recognised the Sena led by Shinde as the official Shiv Sena and also allotted the Bow & Arrow symbol to it. Even since the new government was formed, Uddhav, his son Aaditya and other leaders of their faction leaders have launched a no-holds-barred battle against it. The BJP, on its part, has been using the Shinde Sena to politically reduce the Uddhav faction to size.
Given this background, Fadnavis and Uddhav entering the Vidhan Bhavan together surprised all and sundry. It was obvious that both the leaders had closely coordinated their entry into the legislature complex so as to give a photo-op to media persons who hang around the press pandal near the entrance.
The question now is where does all this leave Eknath Shinde?
If the BJP and Uddhav group come together then it will definitely place Shinde in an extremely embarrassing position. Uddhav Thackeray became suspicious when the NCP led by Sharad Pawar joined hands with the BJP in supporting the government in Nagaland. Significantly Uddhav Thackeray did not react to the conviction of Rahul Gandhi by a court in Gujarat even though the Congress is a partner of the MVA.
When Thackeray was asked by the media he said, "In the past there were open talks in politics. Now the culture of talking behind closed doors has increased. I will let you know if our talks happen in the future behind closed doors."
"Coincidentally, Devendra and I entered the premises at the same time. As per etiquette, I greeted him," Uddhav added.
You did not use right fertiliser: Mungantiwar to Uddhav
Furthermore, in legislative council, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar was speaking about tree conservation schemes. He said "in 2016 Tree conservation scheme was implemented by the government and many trees were planted throughout Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackreay ji and Sharad Pawarji had also come to plant trees." However, Uddhav Thackeray said "But fruits have not come on those trees'. then Mungantiwar replied " I had told you fruits will come but you break the relationships. What will I do? I used to tell you which fertilisers you should use, but you put the wrong fertiliser then how can fruits come? Uddhav Thackeray said "Were you telling me about fertilisers or Nirma powder?" Mungantiwar said that it was fertiliser but the cover was Nirma powder. Mungantiwar also urged Uddhav to come along as time had not passed.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)