NEW DELHI: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday sparked fresh speculation of a political realignment in the state when he referred to leaders including Union minister Raosaheb Danve as former and possible “future colleagues.”
While addressing the dignitaries at a function in Aurangabad, Thackeray said, “My former, current, and if we come together, future colleagues.”
Raosaheb Danve is the minister of state for railways and comes from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
Later, Thackeray clarified that he said former and current colleagues because there were leaders from all parties on the dais. “If everybody comes together, they can become future colleagues too. Time will tell,” he added cryptically.
Earlier this week, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said that he should be no longer called a ‘former’ state minister as things were changing.
Reacting to Thackeray’s remarks, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis told reporters elsewhere that he must have realized that the state was suffering because of the Sena’s “unnatural alliance” with the NCP and Congress.
“He must have expressed his thoughts after realizing what kind of people he is working with…Everything is possible in politics, but the state BJP is not eyeing power. We are an efficient opposition party and will continue our work,” the former chief minister added.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut sought to downplay Thackeray’s comments, stating that Danve was everybody’s friend.
“When he was state BJP chief, all was well. There is nothing earth-shaking in the comment. Those who want to come with us can join and become future colleagues. Don’t read too much into this,” Raut added.
He also claimed that he had learnt that Chandrakant Patil was offered the post of Nagaland governor by the BJP.
After the 2019 assembly polls, the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP and formed the government with the NCP and Congress.
(With agency inputs)

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