PUNE/ MUMBAI: A new episode of war of words has broken between alliance partners BJP and Shiv Sena as Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut praised Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi which has angered Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis majorly.
Raut said at a late evening television event on Thursday night that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has now emerged as a good leader who is capable of leading the country.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has now warned partner Shiv Sena that its ‘dual stand’ will not be tolerated and that its Chief Uddhav Thackeray must decide if he wants to continue the alliance with the BJP.
“The Sena opposes all our decisions. They can give their suggestions, but cannot simultaneously play the roles of a ruling party and an opposition at the same time,” Fadnavis said at a function in Mumbai, even as Sena’s Sanjay Raut delivered another set of jibes at the BJP claiming that the Modi wave has faded.
The chief minister said, “As a party, Uddhav ji has to decide. People do not like the picture they are portraying. Balasaheb (Sena founder and Uddhav Thackeray’s father Bal Thackeray) never saw every decision with negativity, neither does Uddhav ji. But some of his leaders think they are bigger than the party chief and make statements.”
Sanjay Raut was participating in a television discussion when he praised Rahul Gandhi.
The Shiv Sena has not always been kind to Rahul Gandhi.
He is expected to take over as Congress President from his mother Sonia Gandhi soon. Just two years ago, the party had said that ‘even 100 Rahul Gandhis cannot match Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘mega wave’.
The BJP-Shiv Sena relationship has gone steadily downhill in the last two years, with a splenetic Shiv Sena now taking regular potshots at Prime Minister Modi and his party and threatening to dismantle their alliance in the state, though it has not done so yet.