Mumbai: A day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, veteran Minister of Industries Subhash Desai on Saturday scoffed at speculation over rapprochement between Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra.
Instead, Desai said, had the BJP not betrayed Sena after the Assembly election, there would have been a different picture in the state. He also made it clear that the Sena would not listen to the BJP's call to come back.
State NCP minister Jayant Patil said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is functioning quite smoothly without any problem among the alliance partners -- Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. Patil clarified that there is no friction among the alliance partners.
Their statements gain additional significance, coming as they do, in the wake of media reports that Thackeray's stand on the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR) is in line with BJP and that former partners may re-join hands in Maharashtra.
Recently, Thackeray had tried to allay fears over the implementation of CAA and NPR saying that they are not going to take away anyone's rights. However, the Congress and NCP are strongly against its implementation in the state. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has argued that Thackeray must strongly oppose the CAA which came into effect at the end of last year.
The clarifications by Desai and Patil come close on the heels of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) general secretary Suresh 'Bhaiyyaji' Joshi's observation that the tenure of Devendra Fadnavis as 'ex-chief minister of Maharashtra' is for a limited period only.
"It is not his fate to be the Leader of Opposition or an ex-chief minister for very long. Both of these are of short duration, political ups and downs are part of a democracy," Joshi said.
Joshi's comments on Fadnavis seem to indicate a political upheaval vis-a-vis the ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress' Maha Vikas Aghadi.
On top of it, several BJP leaders were issuing new deadlines for the fall of Maha Vikas Aghadi government citing internal contradictions. Some of the BJP leaders assert that BJP will soon come back to power. However, Fadnavis last week declared that BJP will play opposition's role to expose the MVA on various fronts.