A compromise deal between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, which has virtually dashed former Congress leader Narayan Rane’s hopes of entering the state cabinet for now, will see the Sena backing BJP’s yet-to-be-named candidate in the MLC bypoll next month. While the move is seen as a victory of sorts for the Sena, sources revealed that it is a climbdown from demands within the party not to back the BJP given their hostile relations.
“Some leaders were of the view that the Sena should vote against the BJP, no matter what. But (party chief) Uddhav (Thackeray) ji has decided to back them since they have kept out Rane. We have vetoed Rane out of the legislative council and the cabinet, which is a big victory for us,” said a senior Sena functionary.
Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil met Uddhav and conveyed BJP’s decision after discussing Sena’s objection to Rane’s candidature at Matoshree on Thursday. It is learnt that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has even deferred a proposal for a cabinet rejig before the winter session of the state legislature, commencing at Nagpur, from December 11. A senior Sena leader said that Milind Narwekar, Uddhav’s aide, played a key role in ensuring the deal.