Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who is the executive editor of the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, in his weekly column on Sunday alleged, "A split was engineered in the Shiv Sena because Delhi (Centre) realised Uddhav Thackeray can emerge as a national leader in future.’’
After the revolt by Sena MLAs led by Shinde, the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed last month. Raut claimed there is talk in the BJP that Devendra Fadnavis was forced to become the deputy CM in the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government so that he does not rise at the national level.
He further claimed that Delhi never wants Maharashtra's leadership to grow independently and has always pulled it down; be it formation of the 'Samyukta Maharashtra' in 1960 with Mumbai as its capital or the issue of inclusion of Belgaum and other places with Marathispeaking population of Karnataka into Maharashtra.
Raut said just like Shinde now, Ajit Pawar had rebelled in 2019 and formed the government with Fadnavis. Back then, the BJP legislators didn't say the NCP would finish off their party, he said.
"If the BJP-NCP alliance had continued, would it be called an unnatural alliance? There is nothing natural or unnatural in politics," he curtly remarked.
The Rajya Sabha member further said that in 2014, when there was a delay in government formation, NCP leader Praful Patel had announced his party's support to the BJP.
"Sharad Pawar shares a good equation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP had not rejected the NCP's support back then," he said.