Day After ‘Olive Branch’ by Fadnavis, Sanjay Raut Says BJP-Sena Friendship ‘Intact’


A day after senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said his party and former ally Shiv Sena are “not enemies” though there are differences of opinions between them, Sena’s Sanjay Raut likened the relationship to that shared by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao who recently announced their divorce.

“We are not India-Pakistan. Look at Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, it is like them. Our (Shiv Sena, BJP) political ways are different but the friendship will remain intact,” Raut said, signalling a thaw in ties between the former allies in Maharashtra.

The Bollywood superstar recently announced his divorce but said the couple would “like to begin a new chapter in our lives — no longer as husband and wife, but as co-parents and family for each other”.

“We remain devoted parents to our son Azad, who we will nurture and raise together. We will also continue to work as collaborators on films, Paani Foundation, and other projects that we feel passionate about. e request our well wishers for good wishes and blessings, and hope that — like us — you will see this divorce not as an end, but as the start of a new journey,” the two said in a joint statement.

Raut’s borrowing from Khan’s arrangement is being seen as an indication of the old allies joining hands again amid buzz of discontent in the MVA alliance.

Fadnavis’ statement on Sunday came against the backdrop of Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhdav Thackeray meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi separately during his visit to Delhi last month when he had led a delegation of state ministers. Earlier in the day, Raut tried to dismiss “rumours” about his meeting with BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Saturday.

“The more such rumours spread, the stronger the MVA alliance will become. We may have political and ideological differences, but if we come face-to-face at public functions, we will cordially greet each other. I have had coffee with Shelar openly,” the Sena’s chief spokesperson had said. Meanwhile, Fadnavis expressed anguish over the suicide of an MPSC aspirant in Pune over the uncertainty of the final interview before he could get a government job.

Responding to a query on whether there is a possibility of the two former allies coming together again, Fadnavis had said “appropriate decision” will be taken dependent on the situation. When asked about his recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the possibility of the BJP and Shiv Sena coming together again, Fadnavis said, “There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken as per prevailing situations”.

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