Chandrakant Patil, the head of the BJP's Maharashtra unit, insisted on Friday that his party had no part in the ongoing political crisis in the state despite claims that it was involved in Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde's rebellion against his party, which has cast doubt on the survival of the MVA government.
He did, however, acknowledge that Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of the opposition in the assembly, had traveled to Delhi on Thursday "for some work," without providing any further information. Patil's comments came a day after NCP leader Sharad Pawar claimed that the BJP was responsible for the crisis that the Uddhav Thackeray-led administration is currently experiencing.
Interestingly, rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde made a subtle allusion to the BJP when speaking to MLAs in his camp in Guwahati "has backed his insurrection and promised the rebels everything assistance. In an interview with reporters in his hometown of Kolhapur, Patil said that the BJP was unrelated to the present disputes within the Shiv Sena or the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) (comprising Sena, NCP, and Congress). Devendra Fadnavis and I had lunch together on Thursday before he left for some work in New Delhi."
"Fadnavis told me that some things are happening throughout our conversation. But if there had been any significant development, he would have brought me into confidence, he claimed.
According to Patil, the BJP is working hard to prepare for the elections in 2024. Shinde is currently camped in a Guwahati hotel with 37 dissident Sena MLAs and 9 independents.
Patil responded to Sharad Pawar's claim that the BJP was responsible for Shinde's uprising by saying, "I feel Pawar and Sena's Sanjay Raut exercise their right to freedom of speech excessively. I don't even watch the daily news, therefore I am unaware of the specific events in Sena.
When questioned about rumors that BJP official Mohit Kamboj, who resides in Mumbai, was in Guwahati with leaders of the renegade Sena, Patil responded, "He has friends in every political party. He could have traveled to assist someone. His whereabouts are a mystery to me.