Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said on Wednesday that a Shiv Sena delegation, including state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, visited his Mumbai office ahead of the 2017 local body elections in the state and proposed to form an alliance.
The BJP-Sena government was in power in the state between 2014 and 2019. Back then, Shinde was a minister in the Maharashtra government, led by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, and Chavan was state Congress president.
Chavan told local reporters in his hometown Nanded, “Shinde had come along with a Sena delegation and proposed to snap ties with the BJP. I told him that the Sena should also consult Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, and if he agrees, I would talk to the Congress’ central leadership. But nothing happened after that.”
According to Chavan, the alleged meeting took place at a time when the BJP and the Sena had an extremely strained relation, and both the political parties fought the polls independently.
Chavan’s remarks came amid repeated claims made by Shinde that he rebelled against Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for joining hands with the Congress, and the NCP giving up on Hindutva. Shinde’s rebellion led to his faction teaming up with the BJP to form the state government earlier this year, ending the rule of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of the Sena, NCP and Congress.
Reacting to this, BJP leader Ashish Shelar said that certain decorum should be maintained in public life. “We can also put out Chavan’s clip if we want. Certain things should be kept under wraps,” said Shelar.