Conjecture about long-term allies Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena coming back together has been temporarily put to rest by Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.
Rumours of a patch-up had gained strength over a series of events, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s direct attack on ally Congress, just days after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Raut on Monday responded to claims of increasing ferment among constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Over the past few days, the Congress has been asserting it would contest upcoming polls on its own, prompting a push-back from the Shiv Sena.
On Monday, Raut declared the Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP were committed to running the government for five years.
Raut was quoted by ANI as saying, “Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP stand united, committed to run government for 5 years. Outsiders who want to form govt and are restless after losing power may try, but government will continue. Attempts may be made to create cracks between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena but it won’t work."
Raut has been one of the stoutest defenders of the coalition government in Maharashtra since its formation in late 2019.
On Sunday, Nana Patole, the chief of the Maharashtra Congress unit, toned down on his aggressive line on his party’s plans.
Patole said the Congress stands strong with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray “with all its might” until the government completes its full five-year term. Patole said, “The Congress is standing strong with Uddhav Thackeray with all its might for all five years. There won’t be any problem (to the alliance) from the Congress. Our leader Soniaji [Sonia Gandhi] has already given that assurance and as a state president, I am also of the same opinion."