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Fadnavis & Uddhav Thackeray's brief meeting in a lift sparks reports of reconciliation

A surprise but brief face-to-face encounter occurred between Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis while they waited for a lift in the Vidhan Bhavan complex.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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Mumbai: A surprise but brief face-to-face encounter occurred between Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis while they waited for a lift in the Vidhan Bhavan complex.

Moreover, senior minister Chandrakant Patil meeting the Shiv Sena (UBT) head triggered speculations about the two former allies aligning in Maharashtra.

However, the BJP leadership and Thackeray squarely denied such reports.

The 14th Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra commenced its final Monsoon session prior to the Vidhan Sabha polls slated to take place in October. This would be the first major elections in the country after Lok Sabha.

When Thackeray came to the Vidhan Bhavan complex, Patil, the state’s Higher and Technical Education Minister went to meet him in the chamber of Leader of the Opposition in the Council Ambadas Danve, during which MLC Anil Parab too was present.

Patil presented Thackeray a bouquet and a milk chocolate. “You will give another chocolate to the people tomorrow,” Thackeray said which was an apparent reference to the State Budget, which would be tabled on Friday. 

Danve offered sweets from a packet to Patil, who is a former BJP state unit President and the state’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister. “This is for our victory in Lok Sabha polls,” Danve said.

There were smiles all around during the meeting. 

Thackeray’s encounter with Fadnavis, the Deputy Chief Minister, was more interesting. 

Fadnavis is the architect of the Maha Yuti (NDA) government which he crafted by including Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and NCP’s Ajit Pawar, making them Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, respectively. 

Asked about the meeting, Thackeray, a key leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A) said, “…na na karte pyar tumhi se kar baithe’…nothing like (joining hands with BJP)  is going to happen… you can be rest assured.”

BJP legislator Pravin Darekar said that Thackeray and his PA Milind Narwekar were there waiting for the lift. “Fadnavis ji travelled with us in the lift…then they walked to their respective offices,” he said. 

Reacting to it, Shinde said, “Two years ago, they (Thackeray) took a different lift and went to the Congress and Sharad Pawar-led NCP. We took one that carried us to the people.”

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena spokesperson and MLA Sanjay Shirsat lashed out at his Shiv Sena (UBT) and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut.

“There are no personal disputes involved. Thackeray might have realised that he was being misled by Raut,” he said, adding that the importance of separating political disagreements should be different from personal relationships and this is what Balasaheb Thackeray taught us. 

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Published 27 June 2024, 14:36 IST

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