Mumbai: A day after former chief minister and former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi predicted that the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party may reunite in the near future, the party (Sena) rejected it outright as “his personal views”, here on Wednesday.
Senior leader and deputy chairperson of the Maharashtra legislative council Neelam Gorhe said in a statement that there’s “absolutely no basis” to Joshi’s comments.
“It is not the party’s official stand, it may be his personal view only,” Gorhe said, even as the party leadership was taken aback by the senior Joshi’s sudden remarks yesterday, which sowed doubts in the minds of its allies Congress-Nationalist Congress Party.
She made it clear that the BJP’s strategy of ‘finishing off its allies’ was not acceptable to the Shiv Sena, and “the emotions of his generation of senior leaders was understandable”.
Among other things, Joshi mentioned that the Sena-BJP may come together in the foreseeable future and party chief and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would take the decision in the matter at an appropriate time.
It is not that the two parties have separated permanently and they could yet come together if they stop fighting on trivial issues, learn to tolerate and work jointly for mutual benefits, Joshi urged.
Coming when the Congress was apparently upset with the Sena stand in Lok Sabha on the citizenship (amendment) bill, Joshi’s latest utterances virtually sent the fortnight old Maha Vikas Aghadi of Sena-NCP-Congress into a spin, barely days before the upcoming winter session of Maharashtra Legislature next week. In fact, a senior Congress leader Naseem Khan even accused the Sena of unilaterally going against the MVA’s common minimum programme with its unilateral decision to support the CAB.
However, after Thackeray’s statement last night, the Sena has apparently reviewed its stand on the CAB, as indicated by party MP Sanjay Raut today, despite facing ridicule by the state opposition BJP leaders.