Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday asserted that the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is the political future of Maharashtra and there is no truth in speculations about an 'under the table deal' for a reunion of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Sena.
In his weekly column 'Rokhthok' in the party mouthpiece Saamana, Raut said state Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in his address to Shiv Sainiks on January 23 had turned the tables on the BJP, which was criticising him over his illness.
Thackeray, who underwent a cervical spine surgery a couple of months back, had hit out at the BJP over its 'hypocrisy', 'double standards' on Hindutva and elaborated on how the Shiv Sena had 'rotted' in alliance with the BJP, he said.
'The message from his speech was that the Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, is the political future of Maharashtra, and there is no truth in speculations that there was an under the table deal happening between the Shiv Sena and BJP and they could get back together,' Raut said.
Thackeray's speech and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis's response to it have made the state's politics clear and there is no room for confusion, he said.
Notably, Fadnavis had claimed the Shiv Sena grew politically when it was in alliance with the BJP.
'There is no possibility of a Shiv Sena-BJP reunion after Fadnavis's response,' said Raut, who is the executive editor of Saamana.
The MVA is here to stay and the BJP will have to spend next many years around the Raj Bhavan, the Rajya Sabha member claimed in sarcastic comments, apparently referring to the BJP approaching the governor over various issues pertaining to the state.
The Shiv Sena had snapped ties with the BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.
The Thackeray-led party later forged an alliance with the NCP and Congress to form government in the state.
Raut also said the recent nagar panchayat election results in Maharashtra should act as a guideline to both the ruling MVA and the opposition BJP in the state.
The BJP did get more seats, but the MVA parties collectively were ahead of the BJP. This shows that whenever the state assembly elections are held, the 'MVA's majority of 170 seats (out of total 288 seats in the House) will continue to stay', he said.
'This is the mindset of Maharashtra,' the Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson said.
He claimed there is a 'wall of businessmen' around Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
'Modi has transformed Indian politics into an event and given it a festive character. No one in the world has done this,' Raut said targeting the PM.
Hitting out at former CM Fadnavis for claiming that the Shiv Sena grew politically because of the BJP, Raut said the Sena was formed in 1966 and the BJP in 1980.
'More than the year of birth, what is important is what one has achieved. The BJP's earlier avatar Jana Sangh never participated in the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement. Fadnavis went to Belgaum recently calling for the defeat of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, which is fighting for the rights of Marathi people,' he said.
Earlier, BJP leaders like Gopinath Munde, Pramod Mahajan and Eknath Khadse never behaved in such a manner.
Nitin Gadkari (senior BJP leader and Union minister) is a supporter of the Vidarbha state, but he has never gone to Belgaum to campaign against Marathi organisations, Raut added.
Maharashtra and Karnataka are locked in a dispute over some bordering areas, including Belgaum, in the neighbouring state, where there is a sizable Marathi-speaking population.