Only interlocutors should speak: Fadnavis on BJP-Sena talks

Only interlocutors should speak Fadnavis on BJP-Sena talksMUMBAI: In a veiled attack on senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said “only the official interlocutors in the BJP-Sena talks should comment on the parleys.”

“My request is that if only those who are official interlocutors talk (to media), then the process will move ahead,” Fadnavis told reporters.

“See, it is like this. If you ask those who come to talk with us, you will know if there is a proposal or not,” the Chief Minister said, referring to claims by some in Sena that there was no “concrete proposal” from BJP on Sena’s participation in the state government.

Fadnavis, who held meeting with Sena leaders here last night, expressed confidence that a positive outcome would emerge out of the talks.

Two days after BJP formally resumed talks with Sena on the issue of joining the government, Sena leader Ramdas Kadam yesterday accused the estranged ally of “fooling” his party by purposefully dragging on power-sharing deliberations.

Kadam also alleged that BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who is the Revenue Minister, was trying hard to “topple” the Fadnavis government as he was not made the Chief Minister of the state.

The BJP had on Friday said it would talk to Shiv Sena with an “open mind” on the issue of the latter’s participation in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra.

“We are going to meet Shiv Sena leaders with an open mind. We have been allies in the past and the Sena is also part of BJP-led government at the Centre,” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had told reporters before leaving for ‘Matoshree’, the residence of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, where he held talks with Sena leaders for one and a half hour.

“Shiv Sena has been our natural ally. We will hold talks with an open mind,” Pradhan had said.

BJP has 121 MLAs in the 288-member House. The NCP, which has 41 MLAs, announced outside support to the state government, but some in BJP are wary of NCP chief Sharad Pawar and are making attempts to rope in Sena, which has 63 MLAs.–PTI

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