Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted a tribute to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray
Devendra Fadnavis was at an event to mark the death of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Mumbai this afternoon. The presence of BJP leader and former Chief Minister, who arrived after head Sena Uddhav Thackeray and his son, Aaditya Thackeray, left, came amid disruption in relations between the parties after last month's election.
Fadnavis, who immediately left after paying his respects, was welcomed by Sena's supporters who chanted slogans in Marathi – "sarkar kunauchi. shiv sena chi (Whose government? Shiv Sena) "
He was previously tweeted in tribute from patriarch Sena, writing "greetings to our inspirational source Balasaheb Thackeray on the anniversary of his death" at Marathi. BJP leaders Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde were also present, as were leaders from other parties, including Congress and the NCP.
#WATCH Maharashtra: The slogan "Sarkar kunauchi? Shiv Sena chi" (whose government? Shiv Sena) was appointed by Shiv Sena workers, when BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis left after paying tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray on his anniversary today, in Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/AbsA5Gm1f5
– ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
Sena-BJP relations have been swooping in recent weeks, with Sanjay Raut repeatedly targeting the latter. A scathing editorial in Sena's mouthpiece, Saamana on Friday accused his former allies of "trading horses under the guise of a Presidential Regulation".
आमचे प्रेरणास्थान, हिंदूहृदयसम्राट माननीय बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांना स्मृतिदिनी शत शत प्रणाम! pic.twitter.com/8DG9Deyydk
– Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 17, 2019
Sena and BJP fought together in state elections and appeared with 161 seats in the 288-member house, but fell out after bitter disputes over portfolio allocation and sharing the position of Chief Minister.
The dispute has sparked a revision of seating arrangements in Rajya Sabha after Sena left the Modi government at the center, with the party now sitting on the opposition bench. Sena also missed a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP in Delhi today.
Chairman Sena Uddhav Thackeray has since held NCP and Congress talks to form an impossible alliance and ownership claims to the government, something that the BJP, which emerged as the largest party with 105 seats, was rejected when asked by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, citing a lack of majority.
The BJP appears to have sat in wait and watch mode for the time being, although last week Amit Shah blamed Sena for the break up, claiming to have emerged with unsustainable post-poll demands.
Devendra Fadnavis's comments last week, after he announced his resignation from the position of Chief Minister, did not help Sena-BJP relations. Fadnavis, who resigned several hours before the deadline for forming the government, criticized Sena for targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reminded them that "no one from BJP has ever targeted Bal Thackeray or Uddhav Thackeray".
BJP's appearance on today's commemoration event for Bal Thackeray may be nothing more than an honorary visit to honor one of the most influential figures in Maharashtra politics, but many see it as a sign that relations between decades-old allies might not be too far. disappear as seen.
Earlier today NCP chairman Sharad Pawar, a veteran politician who alone led opposition charges in the election and had been widely seen as the key to uniting Sena and Congress, also tweeted tribute.
"Bal Thackeray is a Marathi Manoos who raised his voice for the pride of the Marathi people and their self-esteem. He politicized with social goals. He is a unique orator who gets endless affection from his followers. We bow down to him on the anniversary of his death." Pawar in Marathi.
On Friday, the day after Sena, Congress and the NCP met to discuss fundamental differences and set a joint agenda, Mr. Pawar, 79, was bullish about the alliance that successfully formed a government and completed a full five-year period.
The Sena-Congress-NCP has been racing against time since the Presidential Regulation took effect in the state on Tuesday to overhaul the alliance. Pawar and interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi are scheduled to meet in Delhi on Monday to discuss the way forward.
With input from ANI
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