Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Shiv Sena’s “dual stand” will not go down well with the people, and its chief Uddhav Thackeray should decide if he wants to continue the alliance with the BJP.
“…they (the Sena) oppose all our decisions. They can give their suggestions, but cannot simultaneously play the roles of a ruling party and an opposition at the same time. People are watching everything and will not approve of this dual stand,” Fadnavis said.
The chief minister was speaking at an event organised by the Aaj Tak television channel in Mumbai.
Sena, which is a partner in the BJP-led state government as well as the NDA government at the Centre, is seen taking swipes at the BJP nearly every day.
“As a party, Uddhav-ji has to decide. People do not like the picture they are portraying. Balasaheb (late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray) never saw every decision with negativity, neither does Uddhav-ji. But some of his leaders think they are bigger than the party chief and make (critical) statements,” he said.
Given a choice between the NCP and the Sena, he would choose the latter to work with as the BJP and the Sena have been together for 25 years and have the same ideology, he said.
“But I will give Pawar (NCP chief Sharad Pawar) credit for one thing. He never opposes beyond a certain point when it comes to development. He is never against development….but our differences with the NCP will continue,” he said.
To former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s claim that the Congress won more gram panchayats in the recent polls than the BJP (elections to panchayat bodies are not contested on party tickets) Fadnavis dared him to prove it.
“I give an open challenge to Prithviraj Chavan to call his (Congress-affiliated) sarpanchs and I will call mine. I am anyway going to call mine in Pune. Let us come face to face. If mine are not proven to be more, I will change my name,” he said.
To another question, Fadnavis said one needs 25-30 years of “penance” to become someone like Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One has to leave home and family life behind to become a person like Modi, he said.
“It is difficult for me to become Modi, he being a great communicator, a master administrator who has changed the country and the way politics is done. However, he should be the role model for every chief minister,” Fadnavis said.