Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis referred to Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray as his “elder brother” at Shiv Sena’s foundation day event held in Mumbai. The camaraderie between the two leaders not only put reports of a rift between the alliance partners to rest but also exuded the eagerness of the two political parties to work together for the upcoming assembly elections.
Fadnavis, who was the chief guest at the function, in a strong-worded speech, sent a signal to cadres of both the parties to work together in wake of state polls. It was for the first time in 53 years that Sena invited a non-Sainik leader for its foundation day event.
The two parties who have been working in coalition for several decades were at loggerheads till before the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. However, Fadnavis’ attendance at the Sena event has changed the face of the relationship between the allies.
“It is been a few days that everyone has been writing about why I have been invited here today. I want to tell you, I am here to seek the blessings of Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav ji’s love and the energy of Shiv Sainiks. We are the oldest and longest alliance in the state and the country and we will remain so,” Fadnavis said while addressing the gathering on Wednesday.
Referring to Sena supremo as his “elder brother”, Fadnavis said, “Disagreement occurs if two brothers live in the same house. The cadres of both parties wanted us to remove those disagreements and we did remove those differences to come together. Everyone knows, what happens in the jungle when the lion and tiger come together. No one needs to be told who will rule, they rule together.”
Thackeray had last week extended a personal invitation to Fadnavis to attend the Sena’s 53rd foundation day function.
Maharashtra Chief Minister stressed that he started his political career with Sena and whenever he attends Sena events it feels like home.
“When I go to a Sena event, I feel like I have come home. I started my political career in the RSS and I believed my inspiration would be the saffron flag. We both believe in the saffron ideology. We are inspired by Hindutva, which is not narrow-minded. It’s not restrained by religion or caste or creed. It is nationalism and national pride. Those who believe in this country as their motherland, no matter what their beliefs, religion and caste is, every such person is a Hindu and a citizen of this county and falls within the definition of our Hindutva,” he said.
The Sena had attacked the BJP on multiple occasions before the two parties come together to contest the Lok Sabha elections together. Addressing the issue, Fadnavis said, “If Shiv Sainiks love you they leave you a lot and when they fight you they leave you speechless. We have come together because of our belief. In UP, the Bua-Bhatija (Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav) came together with an ideology to stop BJP. But after massive winning of NDA, they all frizzled out. I don’t rejoice in anyone’s loss. However, I am happy that those who called Savarkar a coward have lost the battle.”