The Shiv Sena denied Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan's claim that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena had approached the Congress after the 2014 state polls to form a coalition to keep the BJP out of power. (File)
Reacting to Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan's claim that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena had approached the Congress after the 2014 state polls to form a coalition to keep the BJP out of power, the Sena on Wednesday denied the claim, saying that such a proposal had "no value" at that time.
The Sena said that its tie-up with the Congress and NCP after last year's assembly elections materialised because NCP chief Sharad Pawar did not allow "BJP's political machinations" to succeed and Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not reject the proposal for an alliance.
Prithviraj Chavan had earlier said that the Shiv Sena wanted to form a coalition government with the Congress and NCP after state elections in 2014. But the Congress immediately rejected the proposal, he added.
An editorial in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamana also rejected the claim, saying the Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress and NCP had separately contested the state assembly election. "There is no logic in what Chavan has said. The claim should have evaporated in Mumbai's mild winter breeze. The Shiv Sena and NCP didn't take the claim seriously. But, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis criticised the Shiv Sena, saying Chavan had exposed the party," it said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, Monday said Chavan's remarks were surprising and revealed the "true face" of the Shiv Sena.
The BJP got 122 seats, Shiv Sena got 63 and the Congress and NCP won 42 and 41 seats in the four-cornered contest to the 288-member state Assembly in 2014.
"There was no question of approaching Congress for government formation. The Shiv Sena had made up its mind to be in the opposition," it said.
BJP ran the government after the 2014 elections but was later joined by the Thackeray-led party.
In its editorial, the Sena recalled that NCP leader Praful Patel offered his party's support to the BJP after the 2014 elections.
"Even if the three parties had come together, the tally would have been very close to the majority mark (of 145). This was dangerous and the BJP would have tried to pull down the government," the publication said.
The Sena claimed that after last year's state assembly polls, the BJP has to sit in the opposition despite getting 105 seats as the "masks on its face continue to come off".