Spl Article: Fadnavis-Raut meeting: Something is cooking?

Devendra Fadnavis & Sanjay Raut

Even after the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar stressed that there was no threat to the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government on the meeting between Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut and the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, political pundits feels that something is cooking between the BJP and the Sena for their future course of politics in the state.

While dismissing the speculation that the meeting would decide a future course of politics in the state, Pawar recalled that Raut had taken his interview for Sena mouthpiece Saamana. There was nothing unusual in an editor taking the interview of Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Pawar advised against drawing any political context to the meeting.

Both Raut and Fadnavis have insisted that their interaction which lasted for at least two hours on September 26 was focused only on the modalities for the Saamana interview. In fact, the Sena Rajya Sabha member clarified that party Chief Uddhav Thackeray was aware of the meeting.

On the other hand, the BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye claimed that Fadnavis had demanded that the interview should not be edited. The interview is scheduled to take place after the culmination of the Bihar polls. Is it really so simple that the leader of Opposition, Fadnavis and his party that are being bashed by Raut and company virtually every day, would meet the Sena leader in a hotel just for an interview ?

Earlier in the day, the state BJP president Chandrakant Patil predicted that mid-term polls in the state. Reiterating that no political discussion took place in the meeting between Raut and Fadnavis, he added that the purpose was to go over the questions to be asked in the interview. Clarifying that there is no proposal to form a government with either of the MVA parties, Patil claimed that the Sena, NCP and Congress would eventually break the alliance.

To buttress his point, the state BJP chief highlighted the divergent stand by the ruling coalition partners on issues such as the farm bills. While the Congress had staunchly opposed the farm bills, passed both the houses, the Sena took a different position on these bills in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The MVA government was formed in November 2019 under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray after the Sena and BJP had bitter fallout over the demand for the rotational CM post.

Though there is no change in state politics immediately, political observers predict that the meeting of both the leaders should not be taken lightly. Political observers also insist that there would be big changes in political scenario of the state after Diwali and the Bihar elections.

 – M Charulata