EVEN AS the Shiv Sena on Wednesday denied it had approached the Congress to form the government after the 2014 Assembly elections, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday insisted that the “Sena did approach the Congress,” but refused to go into details.
“I will not reveal the names of the leaders who approached us. If I do so, I will be betraying the confidence that they (Sena) showed in me,” Chavan told The Indian Express. Stating that he does not want to rebut the Sena, Chavan, however, said he stood by his statement.
Chavan’s reaction came after the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamana, in an editorial on Wednesday trashed the claims made by the former chief minister in an interview to PTI. “There is no logic in what Prithviraj Chavan is saying,” stated the paper, whose executive editor is Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
Raut had earlier refused to speak on Chavan’s claims and said he didn’t want to create another controversy.
“Chavan’s claim that the Sena had approached the Congress to form the state government in 2014 — to stop BJP from coming to power — did not generate any noise. The Shiv Sena and NCP did not react with seriousness. But opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis has taken the claim seriously and was trying to smoke doused ‘chillum’ in Delhi’s chilly winter,” said Sena.
It added that Sena didn’t want to get into what Chavan had claimed, but it had “exposed the real face of the BJP”. “Actually, in 2014, the BJP’s real face was exposed and this was seen by the entire nation… NCP leader Praful Patel offering support… had unmasked BJP’s real face. It seems like it was all pre-decided.”
The editorial stated, “Even if Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena had tried to come together in 2014, still the number (required for majority) would not have been possible. It would have been around 149, which was dangerous. It would have been a thin majority and the BJP, which is an expert in horsetrading, would have been ready to play its tricks.”
It further said that in the 2014 Assembly polls, all four parties — NCP, Congress, Sena and BJP — had fought separately and the result was a hung Assembly. “Under the leadership of Prithviraj Chavan, the Congress lost miserably and was relegated to the fourth position. And therefore, the Congress at that time had no voice. There was no question of approaching Chavan with a proposal for forming the government. Shiv Sena had made up its mind to sit in the opposition and the BJP was throwing its Hindutva leaders network all around,” stated the editorial.
Stating that the “BJP has worn several masks”, the Sena said that this time, NCP chief Sharad Pawar did not allow BJP’s political machinations to succeed and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi did not reject the proposal to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
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