RSS likely to get Shiv Sena-BJP patch-up in place
MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has begun preparations for a show of strength here on Monday to mark the second death anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray. But it was not clear till late on Sunday if chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bigwigs would visit the Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park on Monday.
Speculation was rife in political circles that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was ready to intervene in the Sena-BJP spat over power-sharing in the state.
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray may soon hold talks with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The Sena wants the RSS to intervene as it is keen to join the Fadnavis ministry. Uddhav is believed to have spoken informally to friends in the RSS. Sources said at the height of the Sena-BJP wrangling over power-sharing, Uddhav had expressed his wish to seek RSS help to mediate., but it was never acted upon.
Fadnavis said talks with the Sena would always be welcome. “We have always stated that the BJP is willing for negotiations with the Sena,” he said.
The major glitch is that the Sena has chosen to occupy Opposition benches in the legislative assembly. “The Sena quitting the Opposition benches and joining the government at this point of time would look farcical. It would rob the BJP government of its dignity,” a senior party minister said, adding, “The Sena messed up the whole thing from day one. They acted in an arbitrary manner and took hasty decisions.”
Senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, a ‘hardliner’, said, “Our party has decided to sit in the opposition in the assembly. The Sena will not compromise on its self-respect,” indicating that the Sena-RSS talks may be stillborn. But a section in the RSS is not amenable to the idea of the minority government hinging on the National Congress Party’s support, as many NCP ministers were involved in corruption cases in the erstwhile government, and Fadnavis, the Mr Clean of the BJP, had launched a moral crusade against the NCP in 2009-14.
The Shiv Sena has begun preparations for a show of strength here on Monday to mark the second death anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray. (TOI photo)
Senior minister Vinod Tawde said RSS intervention was a bit “far-fetched”.
Meanwhile, Union minister Anant Geete, the Sena’s lone face in the Narendra Modi government, said his party was in no mood to pull out at the centre. “But the final call will be taken by the party president (Uddhav),” he said.