CM Devendra Fadnavis on Shiv Sena's 'Chowkidar..' barb: Will give befitting reply

Updated: Jan 01, 2019, 14:31 IST | PTI |

On Sena's criticism of BJP after the latter joined hands with the NCP to install its mayor in Ahmednagar civic body last week, Fadnavis said his party was ready to offer "unconditional support"

Devendra Fadnavis
Devendra Fadnavis

In a veiled attack on the Shiv Sena for borrowing Congress' "chowkidar chor hai" barb aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday said he would give a "befitting" reply at the "right time". He also said the BJP didn't attach importance to bickering ally Sena's diatribe against Modi, and hailed the prime minister for "spending each moment of his life to work for the country".

On Sena's criticism of BJP after the latter joined hands with the NCP to install its mayor in Ahmednagar civic body last week, Fadnavis said his party was ready to offer "unconditional support" to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which allegedly did not respond. In the same breath, the chief minister also clarified that BJP did not seek the NCP's support in the corporation, but it was the latter that gave votes.

He also ruled out the possibility of BJP joining forces with the Sharad Pawar-led party in upcoming polls, saying BJP would contest elections against the Congress and the NCP. "We will take information on what did they said, to whom and we will give a befitting reply at the right time. Wait for my reply...that right time will come...I will give a befitting reply to it," the CM told reporters here, without naming anyone or any party, in response to a query. Addressing a rally in the temple town of Pandharpur on December 24, Thackeray had mouthed the Congress' oft-repeated jibe of "chowkidar chor hai" made in the context of the Rafale fighter jet deal to launch a veiled attack on Modi and BJP.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly hurling the "chowkidar..." jibe at Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Thackeray had used the slogan in a different context while narrating an incident during the rally. Replying to another question, Fadnavis said BJP didn't attach "importance" to Sena's criticism of the prime minister. "People of the country know what the prime minister is. India has a prime minister who is spending each moment of his life for the country and is not bothered about his family or accumulating properties.

Where will the saliva land if one spits at the Sun? Not on the Sun," he said. He also said there was no proposal from Sena over joining hands in the Ahmednagar civic polls, which had thrown up a hung verdict earlier this month. BJP's Babasaheb Wakale was elected mayor after polling 37 votes despite his party winning just 14 seats in the 68-member civic body. NCP's 18 corporators, four of the BSP and one Independent voted for him.

The Sena is the largest party in the civic body with 24 seats. "I then allowed our people to take whatever decision they wanted in case Shiv Sena did not seek support (to instal mayor)," the chief minister said. "Accordingly, our people (the BJP) decided to contest polls. We did not back the NCP. We contested both the mayoral and deputy mayoral polls. Their (of the NCP) people gave us votes," he added.

Criticising coming together of the two parties for the mayoral election, Sena Monday said NCP's support to BJP in the Ahmednagar civic body's mayoral election has only highlighted the "old illicit political relations" between the two parties. Sena made these remarks in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

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