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'Eknath Shinde sought an alliance with Congress in 2014, 2017 by severing ties with BJP': Cong, Sena

Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and Sena's veteran ex-minister Chandrakant Khaire besides other leaders have made the sensational claims, sparking off a political row. 

'Eknath Shinde sought an alliance with Congress in 2014, 2017 by severing ties with BJP': Cong, Sena

Mumbai: Making embarrassing revelations, the Congress and Shiv Sena have claimed that the present Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, had reportedly sought an alliance with the Congress in 2014 and 2017, here on Thursday. Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and Sena's veteran ex-minister Chandrakant Khaire besides other leaders have made the sensational claims, sparking off a political row. Speaking to media persons in Nanded, Chavan said that in 2017, ahead of the local body elections in the state, a delegation of Shiv Sena comprising Shinde (then a Minister in the BJP-led govt) had met him in his office with a proposal to sever ties with the BJP.

However, Chavan said he would first consult his party and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and after that, he would raise the issue with the Congress central leadership, though nothing moved after that.

At the relevant time, the ties between the BJP-Sena ruling the state jointly were severely strained and they contested the subsequent elections separately, and Chavan was the state Congress President.

Interacting with media persons in Aurangabad, Khaire said that in 2014, Shinde along with a group of around 15 Sena MLAs had met Congress with a proposal to form a Sena-Congress-NCP government in the state, but later nothing emerged.

Also Read: BIG Blow to Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray's two close aides join Eknath Shinde camp

Senior Sena leader Vinayak Raut also endorsed Khaire and Chavan`s contentions saying Shinde wanted to "snap ties with the BJP" and ally with the Congress-NCP.

The MVA`s claims assumed importance against the backdrop of the Shinde Group`s repeated claims that they had rebelled against the Sena President and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ostensibly since he allied with the Congress-NCP after the 2019 elections and chucking the party`s Hindutva agenda.

The revolt by 40 Sena MLAs and others saw the collapse of the two-and-a-half-year-old MVA government on June 29, with the BJP-backed Shinde taking charge as CM on June 30.

Reacting to the MVA`s contentions, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule attempted to turn the tables saying that if such a thing had indeed happened, then it must have been at the behest of Thackeray since Shinde was not a party leader. Shinde Group`s Minister Gulabrao Patil declared the contentions as "nonsensical" and said he (Shinde) may have been compelled to attend such a meeting if it had taken place on the orders of his leader (Thackeray).

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