Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray said if dissidents abandoned rebel leader Eknath Shinde, party was prepared to join BJP . Thackeray wanted to step down as Maharashtra chief minister last year .
MUMBAI: After a revolt in the Shiv Sena, party president Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that if the dissidents abandoned rebel leader Eknath Shinde, the party was prepared to join the BJP in Maharashtra, a move that was unacceptable to rebel MLAs and the national saffron party, legislator Deepak Kesarkar said on Friday.After talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kesarkar, a spokesperson for the Shiv Sena MLAs led by CM Shinde, revealed that Thackeray wanted to step down as Maharashtra chief minister last year.Kesarkar said that Thackeray's CM position, which came after the Shiv Sena revolt, was much more important than holding the top office.Sena Thackeray camp attempted to dismiss Kesarkars remarks, saying he has been making self-contradictory remarks since being appointed a spokesperson and is irritated.Thackeray said he was willing to join the BJP if the rebels leave Shinde and return to the partyfold, but that plan was rejected by dissident MLAs and the BJP, he said.Why were Sena leaders, particularly Aaditya Thackeray, causing opposition to the rebel MLAs, he said?I called one of those involved in these talks when I left Assam (Guwahati after the June 21 revolt), and he said he was coming to Assam (Guwahati).I sent him to meet Uddhav saheb. Uddhav saheb said that you (the BJP) dump Shinde and that we are ready for an alliance at that moment.This was neither the BJP nor the MLAs' proposal.Because it would have been rude.According to Kesarkar, the rest is history. Kesarkar said a lot of Shiv Sena leaders were betrayed by BJP MP and Union Minister Narayan Rane's attempts to denigrate then-Cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray, by dragging him into the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.According to a rebel camp spokeswoman, he met Modi and established a line of contact.It was decided that after Uddhav ji met Modi ji, he would step down (as CM) in the next 15 days because for him, his relationships (with PM) were more important (than holding office).But Thackerays wife Rashmi, Sena leaders Anil Desai, Subhash Desai, Milind Narvekar, and Shinde were aware of this development, he said. Thackeray was also known as Modi's younger brother in the past.In July 2021, a dozen BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly were expelled for a year because of unruly conduct, a development that further fractured links between former allies Shiv Sena and the then-opposition BJP.Later, negotiations were called off after Rane, a Thackeray bete noire, was inducted into the Union Cabinet, upseting the Sena president, according to Kesarkar.Kesarkar later said that the talks did not go further because of ego problems. Shinde met Thackeray multiple times to persuade him to re-arm ties with the BJP, according to the rebel Sena camp's spokesperson.Sena spokeswoman Manisha Kayande, a Thackeray member, said He is revealing something new every day, in response to Kesarkar's allegations.He has been making self-contradictory statements and sounds confused.