Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra, once more tried to use the fact that the Shiv Sena-BJP was elected to power in the state as evidence to support his decision to form a rebel group. He added that this was a corrective action because he should have done it two and a half years ago.
‘People saw the posters, in which there was the figure of Balasaheb Thackeray on one half and on the other, there was the picture of Narendra Modi. BJP got 106 and Shiv Sena 56. It was expected that the two would form the government but that didn’t happen and the party workers were not happy,’ Shinde said.
When reminiscing on the events leading up to the MVA government, Shinde recalled that despite the MLAs’ resentment of the coalition, he managed to satisfy them for the benefit of the party. ‘But nothing good came out of it. There was no respect for the party even though we had our CM. MLAs didn’t get the funds for the constituency and there was dissatisfaction all over. I spoke with Uddhav Thackeray and apprised him about what the MLAs felt and said it would be good if we returned to the party with which we share our ideology. But we didn’t succeed in our endeavour,’ said Shinde.
Balasaheb Thackeray himself had stated that he would close shop if he had to ever align with the Congress, according to Eknath Shinde, who declined that his group would ever ally with the Congress and the NCP. ‘So, what wrong have we done? We only carried forward the teachings of Balasaheb Thackeray. I was stressed in the early days because the task wasn’t over. The people of my village were glued to the TV and I knew I had the responsibility of 50 MLAs with me,’ said Shinde.