Sanjay Raut yesterday claimed the "death warrant" of the Eknath Shinde government has been issued. (file)
Soon after Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut's "death warrant" remark for the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis shot back with a 'doping in sports' analogy. Speaking in Marathi at a wrestling event, Mr Fadnavis, without naming Mr Raut, said some people are trying to wrestle while getting high at 9 am.
"There's wrestling going on in politics as well. We all know some wrestlers were banned for doping in wrestling. Now, some people in politics are also today getting high at 9 in the morning and trying to wrestle. But wrestlers who dope have to eventually get out of the sport," he said, adding that only 'real' wrestlers win.
"We won the fight under the leadership of (Chief Minister) Eknath Shinde with your blessings. Keep blessing us so that we win again in 2024 (Lok Sabha elections)," Mr Fadnavis further said.
Known for his sharp jibes at political opponents, Uddhav Thackeray's close aide Sanjay Raut yesterday claimed the "death warrant" of the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government has been issued, and it will collapse in the next 15-20 days. His party is waiting for the court's order and expecting that justice will be done, Mr Raut said, alluding to the Supreme Court's pending judgement on a batch of pleas including one seeking disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs (of Mr Shinde's party) who revolted against the Thackeray leadership.
"The government of the existing chief minister and his 40 MLAs will collapse in 15-20 days. The death warrant of this government has been issued. It is now to be decided who will sign it," Mr Raut claimed.
The Rajya Sabha member had earlier claimed the Eknath Shinde government will collapse in February, drawing a taunt from state Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, who called him a "fake astrologer".
Meanwhile, there's already an increasing buzz of politicking within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which comprises Congress, the Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, and Sharad Pawar-led NCP, over speculation of a shift in political fortunes.
Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he is with the MVA and wishes to work together, but one's wish isn't all that matters. "There are several processes...the issue of seat distribution, party's demands... How can we say anything right now?" he said when asked about his party's future with the opposition alliance.
While Eknath Shinde used Mr Pawar's remark as ammunition, saying the NCP chief is a tall leader and his comments are always important and serious, Sanjay Raut said he believes Mr Pawar's remark has been misconstrued.
The Supreme Court had last month reserved its verdict on a batch of cross-petitions of Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde factions on last year's political crisis in the state, when Mr Shinde and 39 MLAs rebelled against the Sena leadership resulting in the party's split and collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.