Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said that it's a rumor that Sena Chief Minister will be replaced after 2.5 years. At a press conference, the MP and Saamana editor clarified that when Nationalist Congress Party, Congress and Shiv Sena formed govt, they committed and decided that CM will be Uddhav Thackeray for 5 years.
Further speaking about the Maha Vikas Aghadi, he said, "It's not a merger but an alliance of 3 parties and all are free to expand or strengthen oour respective party." "We don't have any commitment to contest every election together. In local polls, local leaders take the decision." he added.
We only strategize for Lok Sabha and state elections, he said.
On Saturday, Sanjay Raut addressing Sena workers in Jalgaon in north Maharashtra, said, "The Shiv Sena had a secondary status in the previous government and was (treated) like slaves. Attempts were also made to finish off our party by misusing the very power which was enjoyed because of our support".
Raut's remarks came days after Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi separately, setting off political speculations in the state.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance crumbled in 2019 over the issue of chief ministership. The Sena, which was one of the oldest allies of the BJP, later formed an unlikely alliance with the NCP and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Raut said he always thought that the Sena should have its chief minister in Maharashtra.
"....Anything can happen in politics. Ajit Pawar, the deputy CM of Maharashtra, is now working shoulder to shoulder with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray," Raut said.
(With agency inputs)