Fadnavis also lauds Shinde for not behaving like a boss
NEW DELHI: Weeks after a newspaper advertisement put their relations to test, Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has said that he considers chief minister Eknath Shinde as his boss and the leader of the present BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government.
He emphasized that his personal bond with the CM remains strong despite the publication of the advertisement which cited a survey to claim that Shinde was the most popular chief minister even ahead of Fadnavis.
The former chief minister highlighted the mutual respect between him and Shinde – who served as a minister under him previously, highlighting that their relationship has remained solid from the beginning.
Acknowledging the transition of roles, the BJP leader said: “Now, he is my boss. As a chief minister, he is my leader, and I have to work under him.”
Fadnavis stressed that this understanding is firmly ingrained in his mind, and fortunately, Shinde does not exhibit any superiority as his leader or boss. He reiterated that a single advertisement would not damage their relationship.
The political circles in Maharashtra have been abuzz with speculation about a rift between the two leaders. The controversy began when Shinde’s Shiv Sena party released a newspaper advertisement titled ‘Modi for India, Shinde for Maharashtra,’ which featured several leaders from the alliance, but Fadnavis was notably absent. The advertisement seemingly positioned Shinde as the more popular choice among voters.
As the matter heated up, the Shiv Sena published a new advertisement in Marathi newspapers, featuring both Shinde and Fadnavis alongside prominent leaders such as PM Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, and late Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. The advertisement aimed to highlight the support for the Shinde-Fadnavis-led government, with statistics showing the approval of 49.3 per cent of respondents and the effectiveness of a joint government according to 62 per cent of respondents.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded to the controversy by affirming that the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance remains intact and unaffected by recent events. State BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule stated, “Nobody’s importance is diminished because of anybody. Devendra Fadnavis is in the minds of the people of the state as a leader.” Bawankule emphasized that Fadnavis’s leadership continues to resonate with the people of Maharashtra, and he assured that the alliance would remain strong.
While tensions between the two parties have become evident, particularly with Fadnavis’s canceled visit to Kolhapur, both leaders have maintained a measured approach. CM Shinde, during his visit to Kolhapur, acknowledged the increased responsibilities placed upon him and Fadnavis as chosen leaders, implying the need for cooperation and unity within the alliance.
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