Mumbai: Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' haste to attain power and "childish comments" sank the BJP in Maharashtra and the latter became the opposition leader.
With the coming together of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, what has happened in Maharashtra is acceptable to the country as well, Raut claimed in his column 'Rokhthok' in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
In a veiled attack on the central BJP leaders without naming anyone, he said Maharashtra did not bow down to the "mob-rule" like functioning of Delhi. What is significant is that Uddhav Thackeray came to power by dethroning the powerful "Modi-Shah hold", remarked Raut, who is the executive editor of 'Saamana'. He also expressed confidence that "this government (of Sena-NCP-Congress alliance) will survive for five years."
"I find it amusing that the people who dubbed Ajit Pawar's tie-up with Fadnavis as a 'scripted' plan of Sharad Pawar, are now bowing before the NCP chief after formation of the (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government," Raut said.
Ahead of the Assembly polls, Fadnavis made "childish comments" like there would be no opposition party left in the state, the era of Sharad Pawar was ending and Prakash Ambedkar's Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi would be main opposition. "But he (Fadnavis) himself became the opposition leader," the Rajya Sabha member quipped.
Fadnavis said he would come back, but his haste to attain power sank the BJP within 80 hours, he commented. "Over-confidence and his (Fadnavis') reliance on Delhi-based senior leaders destroyed his politics. The developments of last month look like a new script of the film 'Sinhasan' (throne)," Raut said. He was referring to the 1979 Marathi film of the same name, which was loosely based on late author Arun Sadhu's novels 'Sinhasan' and 'Mumbai Dinank'.
Raut further said the Maharashtra governor's office played the role of a "villain" in the 80-hour-long government of Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar. "Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari once told me he would not do anything beyond the Constitution's framework. But he later administered oath to Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar in a haste. The order from the 'top' (apparently referring to the Centre) seems to have played a bigger role," he said.
Ajit Pawar's "desperate act" (to support the BJP) brought the Sena, NCP and Congress closer and cemented their alliance, he said. It also created pressure on other NCP MLAs, who rebelled, and as everyone went back to Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar also returned, he said. "Had Sharad Pawar not taken the initiative, this alliance would not have materialised," Raut stated.
Everyone in the Congress was doubtful of joining hands with the Shiv Sena. It was Sharad Pawar who told Sonia Gandhi that late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had cordial relations with former prime minister Indira Gandhi, he said.
The Sena did not field its candidates against the Congress in the state Assembly polls held after the Emergency in the country, Raut pointed out, adding that his party also supported the candidature of Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee for the President's post. "The Hindi-speaking community in Mumbai also votes for the Sena, hence the party continued to win elections of the city civic body. Sharad Pawar also informed this to Sonia Gandhi," the Sena leader added.