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Devendra Fadnavis accepts Marathwada pinch; blames Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar for split in Shiv Sena and NCP

2 weeks ago 36

Synopsis

Talking of the Shiv Sena split, he said it happened as Uddhav was 'insecure' over Eknath Shinde. "To project Aaditya Thackeray, Shinde's wings were clipped. In the 2019 assembly polls, Shinde had provided the resources for the party and there was an impression that he would be made the chief minister.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra FadnavisPTIMaharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday pinned the blame for the split of NCP and Shiv Sena on the efforts of their respective party chiefs to promote their own children. In an interview to ET, he said it was Uddhav Thackeray's 'insecurity' over Eknath Shinde (at the cost of his son Aaditya Thackeray) that led to split in Sena. Similarly, he felt that Ajit Pawar was made a "villain" in Sharad Pawar's gameplan as the patriarch wanted his daughter Supriya Sule to control the party which led to eventual split in NCP and hence these parties will not get any sympathy vote. Fadnavis has also admitted that polarisation has taken place in Marathwada region, with the Marathas being incited to vote against BJP on caste lines.

"If you face injustice, only then you would get sympathy. Pawar saheb himself has been breaking parties. No one has more expertise than him in breaking parties. His party split because Ajit was repeatedly being made a villain by Sharad Pawar while asking him to get into talks with us, while Sharad Pawar backtracked. I think they wanted to make Ajit a villain to make a hero out of Supriya Sule. Ajit also realised that the party will not come to him but will go to Sule and so he decided to rebel," Fadnavis said.

On Shiv Sena split

Talking of the Shiv Sena split, he said it happened as Uddhav was 'insecure' over Eknath Shinde. "To project Aaditya Thackeray, Shinde's wings were clipped. In the 2019 assembly polls, Shinde had provided the resources for the party and there was an impression that he would be made the chief minister. However, Uddhav himself became the CM. Shinde didn't object but Uddhav became insecure that Shinde was getting more powerful in the party as several MLAs were meeting him. Uddhav felt Shinde would be another Narayan Rane (Rane had split Sena) and so he decided to clip his wings," he said.

According to Fadnavis, the last straw was when, during the MVA government, Aaditya Thackeray started holding meetings of the ministry which were under Shinde, without the latter being present for these meetings. Fadnavis said BJP never had an ideological barrier in joining hands with NCP.

"The main NCP did not have any ideology; it was a party of regional satraps. The first time Sharad Pawar became the chief minister, it was due to BJP support. Our only issue (with NCP) was the issue of appeasement (by NCP). When you say that Muslims have the first right on resources, then we are not okay with it. As for us, the first right on resources is for the poor, whichever community they belong to." He admitted that BJP's cadre was initially not keen on the NCP (Ajit) joining hands with BJP but the party workers have since gotten on board.

Marathwada issues

Fadnavis admitted there was casteist polarisation in the Marathwada region and that may impact the party in a few seats. "We have seen polarisation (Marathas versus OBCs) in four to five constituencies in Marathwada and in two to three of these constituencies, it has gone to an extreme level. I think it is worrisome for the state and very disturbing as such polarisation disturbs the social fabric of the state. This is very unfortunate," he said. Messages have been circulating among the Maratha community to vote for its candidates in constituencies like Beed and "to show the community's might".

"We will come to know after the results how much polarisation has happened or whether people have accepted it or not," he said.

ON Uddhav vote bank
He said Uddhav Thackeray faction was courting Muslims aggressively as they felt that it needed to make up for the loss of its Marathi votebank. "They want to survive on Muslim votes. They are doing so much appeasement politics which even Congress has not done. If you go to their office, you will find more Muslims. At their rallies you hear slogans like 'Allahu Akbar' and 'Tipu Sultan Zindabad'. We are seeing video clips being circulated asking the community to do 'vote jihad'."

Fadnavis said that he was "a bit disappointed" with the Muslim community for mobilising their votes against BJP and its allies as the Modi government had not discriminated against the community while rolling out welfare schemes. "Congress and its allies have created a fear factor among the Dalits and the Muslim community. They have just scared the communities that if BJP comes to power they would be in trouble. This is a last attempt by Congress. In the next elections, Muslims will realise that their progress lies with BJP government in power," said Fadnavis.

He said Dalits would back BJP and its allies as they were aware that BJP was in power for 10 years and the Constitution (read reservations) was not touched.

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