A day after his ‘secret’ meeting with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said he met the BJP leader to discuss certain issues. Raut added that there could be ideological differences between Shiv Sena and BJP but the leaders of the two parties are not enemies of each other.
On Saturday, Raut met Fadnavis for around two hours at a luxury hotel in Mumbai. The meeting grabbed headlines as it was the first time that senior leaders from Shiv Sena and the BJP met each other after the snapping of ties between the two allies in 2019.
I met Devendra Fadnavis yesterday to discuss certain issues. He is a former CM and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra and Bihar polls in charge for BJP. There can be ideological differences but we are not enemies. There are no personal disputes to settle. Meetings do keep taking place between the ruling and Opposition sides. When we were in power with the BJP, I used to meet Pawar saheb,” Raut said.
Fadnavis said that it is wrong to attribute political meaning to the meeting and added that the BJP is not planning to join hands with the Shiv Sena to return to power in Maharashtra. “Don’t attribute anything political to this meeting. We are not in hurry to return to power. The BJP has established itself as an aggressive Opposition party, taking up people’s cause very effectively,” he told mediapersons.
Fadnavis asserted that Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Sena-Congress-NCP combine would fall on its own and the BJP need not do anything to remove them from power. “We (the BJP) are in no hurry. The MVA will fall due to its own contradictions. We’ll see what is to be done when that happens. There is no reason for any discussion of forming an (alternative) government with Sena in BJP,” he said.
The BJP leader noted that he went to meet Raut to discuss an interview for Sena mouthpiece Saamana of which the Shiv Sena MP is the executive editor. “Raut wanted to interview me. The meeting was to discuss the interview. I put the condition that the entire interview should be unedited. And when he interviews, we will also have our camera to record the interview. Therefore, we decided to meet and discuss how the interview should proceed,” Fadnavis said.