Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut today said that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in depression as he is forced to work under his junior Eknath Shinde. This latest attack from the Rajya Sabha MP comes just a day after Mr Fadnavis took a “high at 9 am” swipe at him for his prediction that the Eknath Shinde-led government would collapse soon.
“That man has been the Chief Minister and is being forced to work under someone so junior to him. His mental state is definitely not fine. It’s not about getting high, the issue is that we are speaking the truth, fighting for the people of the state, and they are supporting us, that’s why such leaders have gone into depression. This high of depression is very bad,” he told NDTV.
On Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule’s claim that there will be two ‘explosive’ developments in Maharashtra, Sanjay Raut said he thinks those will be the state government’s collapse and replacing the Chief Minister. He reiterated his earlier claim that if fresh state elections are held before the general elections next year, the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition will win 180-185 seats in the Assembly and at least 40 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.
Amid speculations on the unity between MVA constituents — Congress, NCP, and Shive Sena’s Thackeray camp — following Sharad Pawar’s non-committal response to the opposition alliance going to the poll battlefield together again, Mr Raut said the NCP chief’s remarks were deliberately twisted.
“Mr Pawar had just said that we are all in the MVA together, and there will be some uncertainties on the existence of the MVA till there is a discussion on seat-sharing. But he clarified yesterday that we will contest elections together as the MVA, we are united,” he said, adding that whether it’s state or Lok Sabha elections, in 2024 the Maha Vikas Aghadi will fight together.
Mr Raut dismissed speculations that top NCP leader Ajit Pawar might jump ship to the BJP, saying he clearly told the media yesterday that he will be in the NCP as long as he’s alive. “Rumours are being spread about him. It’s his family party, where will he go to serve as a slave,” he said.
The MVA is holding rallies in every district of Maharashtra, Mr Raut said, adding that all top leaders, including Ajit Pawar from NCP, Nana Patole from Congress, and Uddhav Thackeray from Shiv Sena (UBT), will share the stage at the Mumbai rally on May 1 which his party is organising.
On his sensational prediction of the Eknath Shinde-led government’s imminent collapse, Sanjay Raut said the BJP doesn’t believe Mr Shinde would work for them in the long run as the party is suffering a lot of “damage” since the rebel Shiv Sena leader was handed the top post. The Chief Minister is himself suffering from depression due to the stress of the government collapsing, he said, adding that if the Supreme Court (which is hearing the case of the disqualification of rebel MLAs) judges according to the Constitution, all 16 rebel MLAs, including Ekntah Shinde, would be disqualified.
“People’s anger is directed less at Mr Shinde and more towards the BJP. The Chief Minister’s performance is zero. Eknath Shinde has gone on leave for four days starting yesterday. Does this happen? There are huge protests going on in Konka. The people are on the streets, there’s firing. There are so many issues in the state. And the Chief Minister goes on leave for four days. In what state or country does this happen? This means the Chief Minister himself is in depression” Mr Raut said.