Ashish Shelar, BJP leader. File Photo
Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashish Shelar on Wednesday said his party didn*t "orchestrate" Eknath Shinde*s rebellion in Shiv Sena even as remarks made by his BJP colleague from Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, caused a row.
After Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar parted away with the BJP, Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday said the BJP "broke" only those who betray them (BJP). In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena betrayed us and faced the consequences, he had said.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Shelar said Eknath Shinde rebelled over "ideological differences" with the Sena leadership.
Shinde*s revolt along with 39 of 55 MLAs of Shiv Sena led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June.
Shinde took an oath as the chief minister on June 30 with the support of the BJP.
"Eknath Shinde*s rebellion was on the ideological differences with the Shiv Sena leadership. The BJP did not orchestrate it. What Sushil Kumar Modi meant was that he wanted to know why did Shinde have to leave Sena to protect and preserve the Hindutva envisaged by Balasaheb Thackeray," said Shelar, a former minister.
Sushil Kumar Modi had referred to Shiv Sena after Nitish Kumar joined the grand alliance.
"He (Nitish Kumar) can never get the same respect he was being given in BJP, in the RJD and Congress. Nitish says his party (JD-U) was being split. The BJP never betrayed any of its allies. We have only broken those who betrayed us... Be it the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra which was in alliance with BJP. And when the Shiv Sena betrayed us what was the consequence?" he had asked.
Shelar said the conflict would not have arisen had Balasaheb Thackeray*s Shiv Sena remained with BJP.
"When they were with us, Uddhav Thackeray was towing the Hindutva line," Shelar said.
The Shiv Sena broke the long-standing alliance with BJP after the 2019 Maharashtra elections claiming that the BJP leadership reneged on its promise of sharing the post of chief minister on rotation.
Thackeray subsequently joined hands with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form a government, which lasted till June this year.
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