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Published On: Sun, Sep 27th, 2020

Sharad Pawar meets Uddhav Thackeray..sparked several speculations

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Uddhav_PTI-2MUMBAI: A discord seems to have appeared in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MAV) coalition government in Maharashtra following a meeting between Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and former state Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.
The Raut-Fadnavis meeting sparked several speculations in political circles. The two-hour-long meeting between Fadnavis and Raut was the first one between leaders of both the parties after the acrimonious post-poll break-up last year.

According to sources, there has been resentment in Congress and NCP over Raut-Fadnavis meeting. On Sunday, Maharashtra Congress President Balasaheb Thorat and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at latter’s official residence in Mumbai. The meeting lasted for about an hour. However, what transpired during the meeting could not be known immediately.
The meeting of the two top Maharashtra leaders within 24 hours after Sanjay Raut and Devendra Fadnavis had a talk in a luxury hotel in Mumbai has, however, raised eyebrows at a time when Shiv Sena and BJP leaders have sparred bitterly in public over a range of issues, the latest being the Sushant Singh Rajput case and the demolition at actor Kangana Ranaut’s office.
Sanjay Raut, confirming the meeting, said it was for an interview for the Shiv Sena mouthpiece “Saamana” – which he is in charge of – and that Uddhav Thackeray was aware of it.

“Devendra Fadnavis is not our enemy. We have worked with him. I met Fadnavis for his interview for Saamna. This was a pre-decided meeting. Even Uddhav Thackeray was aware of this,” Mr Raut told reporters.
“Is it a crime to meet Fadnavis, who is a former chief minister and now the Opposition leader in the state Assembly? We have ideological differences but we are not enemies,” he added.

Mr Raut said he had interviewed NCP leader Sharad Pawar and had also announced interviews with Devendra Fadnavis, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the Maharashtra election as allies but fell out over how to form government together, with the Shiv Sena insisting on a better share in ministries. The Sena finally broke off ties with the BJP and formed a government with rivals NCP and the Congress.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).


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