Much before Eknath Shinde’s revolt ousted Uddhav Thackeray, the incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister had approached Congress leader Ashok Chavan with a proposal to join hands with the party when BJP and Shiv Sena were in power from 2014 to 2019, the senior leader claimed on Wednesday. Shinde was a minister in Devendra Fadnavis’ cabinet at the time while Chavan was the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Revealing details of the alleged meeting, Chavan told a group of journalists, “Shinde came to my office along with other Shiv Sena leaders. He offered that we work together and form an alliance against BJP. I suggested that Shinde should also approach NCP supremo Sharad Pawar regarding this. Only then could I pick this up with the Congress leadership in Delhi. However, that was the end of this whole incident.”
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Chavan mentioned that the alleged incident took place at a time when the Sena-BJP alliance was on the verge of breaking ahead of the 2017 municipal elections in the state. Both allies didn’t fight the civic body polls together.
The former Maharashtra Chief Minister was reacting to the reason stated by Shinde for his revolt against the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi. Shinde has claimed time and again that he and many Sena workers were unhappy when Uddhav Thackeray had joined hands with the NCP and the Congress after walking out of the NDA. Shinde held that the move demeaned the basis upon which the party was founded by Balasaheb Thackeray.
When Shinde was leading the revolt, he had asked Uddhav Thackeray to reconsider the party’s alliance with BJP. When Uddhav Thackeray refused to honour Shinde’s request of re-aligning with the BJP, Shinde continued with his revolt that eventually led to the downfall of the MVA government in Maharashtra.