Taking potshots at senior Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde, the Shiv Sena on Monday said it will be Narendra Modi who will have the final word on the issue of chief ministerial candidate in the assembly polls.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said, "State BJP President Devendra Fadnavis has said the BJP has sent Munde, who is the Union rural development minister, on a three month loan to Delhi after which he will lead Maharashtra."
"Munde on the other hand has said he feels the slogan coined by some in state BJP that 'Narendra in the centre, Devendra (Fadnavis) in the state' is good. There is a lot of talk about CM candidature in the BJP circles. The question is will Narendra Modi accept this formula of loaning Munde to the Centre and then send him back to the state," the Sena said.
Munde will lead the BJP in the assembly elections scheduled to be held in four months. "Like Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Munde is physically in Delhi but his heart is in Maharashtra," it said.
The BJP-Shiv Sena-led opposition combine won 42 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. The BJP, which won 23 seats, is expected to field a chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections.
"While Fadnavis believes in the politics of lending and then taking interest, in Maharashtra there is a ban on sahukari (the practice of lending money with high interest rates)," the editorial said.
Munde is part of Modi's fast track team and that's why the scheme -- of Munde being given on loan to the Centre and then being returned to Maharashtra with interest -- is a matter of worry. "Anyway, whatever the leaders in Maharashtra think, only Modi's view matters because he will be the final decision maker," the Sena, which won 18 seats in the Lok Sabha poll, said.
The party also advised the BJP not to worry too much on who will lead and who will follow, and instead take note of Modi's directives to fight a winning battle.
Image: BJP leader Gopinath Munde