Deepak Kesarkar, the spokesperson of the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena, on Friday said that while rebel Sena MLAs were camping at a hotel in Guwahati in June, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena was willing to ally with the BJP but on the condition that Shinde would be kept away. Kesarkar claimed that both BJP and the rebel MLAs had shot down the proposal.
“When we were in Guwahati, talks were going on through some leaders on behalf of me… Uddhavji was willing to patch up with the BJP but wanted to keep Shinde away. But neither BJP nor the MLAs were willing to do it,” Kesarkar told mediapersons in Mumbai.
He also hit out at Union Minister and BJP leader Narayan Rane, who along with his son Nitesh, had made “false allegations” against Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray after the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020. “Due to such false allegations, Aaditya was defamed and many Shiv Sainiks did not like it… they were pained,” he said, adding that hence, he had tried to raise a complain with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We all were hurt when the fake allegations were made… Since Rane was maligning the image of Aaditya, many like me who love the Thackeray family were upset. To stop this, I attempted to convey this to the PM and through someone, I approached Modiji. I received a good response from him. After that there were talks between Modiji and Uddhavji and later they met too,” Kesarkar claimed.
He asserted that while talks had begun between Thackeray and the PM for a patch up, due to the suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Assembly in July 2021 and appointment of Rane as Union minister the same month affected the dialogue.
Kesarkar also claimed that after the PM and Thackeray met in June 2021, he, along with others, had met Thackeray. “He told us that he has decided to resign from the post of CM to save the relationship with Modi and reconcile with the BJP again.”
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“Uddhavji told us that for him maintaining the relationship with Modiji is important (than holding CM’s post). Hence, he had decided to resign as CM within 15 days after the meeting,” Kesarkar said, adding that Thackeray needed some more time to talk to the Sena workers while talks continued with the BJP. “Amid this, 12 BJP MLAs of were suspended from the Assembly (in July 2021). The BJP had conveyed that talks (for alliance with Sena) are going on and the move is not good. But it was ignored. Later, when there was the Cabinet in the Union government was expanded, Narayan Rane was made a minister. Uddhavji was upset and due to this, the dialogue between the two parties stopped,” Kesarkar said. “Whatever I am saying is the truth and if anything is found untrue, I will leave public life,” he added.
Speaking to the media, Aaditya said, “We have to think about how much faith we should have in people who have changed three parties and are eager to make their debut in the fourth party. They try to make explosions now and then… There are trying to create confusion. The reasons given so far should be reviewed.”
When contacted, Manisha Kayande, spokesperson of the Thackeray faction, said: “Kesarkar is a new spokesperson and is trying to please his bosses.”