Old loyalties, it seems, don’t wane easily. State public works department minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is now with the Nationalist Congress Party, on Wednesday seemed sympathetic to his former party, the Shiv Sena. Bhujbal said that the saffron party would never be vanquished.
Bhujbal made this remark during a casual chat with mediapersons in Nagpur where the state legislature is currently in session.
Even as many have been writing off the party in recent times, Bhujbal said he would reiterate his view that the Shiv Sena would not be wiped out even after the passing away of its supremo Bal Thackeray.
Reminded of the recent rebellion within the party which came from its senior leaders Manohar Joshi and Mohan Rawle, he made light of it, saying that a few leaders leaving or even joining a party is nothing out of the ordinary for any political outfit. “All that doesn’t mean that a party will collapse,” said Bhujbal, adding in the same vein that it was good that Joshi had subsequently apologised to the party leadership.
Asked about the Opposition being up against the anti-superstition bill, Bhujbal said that members of the Opposition were only trying to give the Bill a religious hue in a bid to portray that the ruling alliance is against a particular religion. “Well, elections are round the corner and the Opposition is trying to use this against the government,” he quipped.
Bhujbal, who has been a part of the state legislature since 1985, said this would be his last stint in the Assembly. “I have decided to move to New Delhi... I will contest the Lok Sabha elections,” he
In a caustic remark to the Aam Aadmi Party, which swept the recent assembly elections in New Delhi, Bhujbal said that the party should assume power and “show how it reduces electricity rates and vegetable prices”.
Going against the grain of his own party, the Nationalist Congress Party leader had a word of praise for chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Asked as to how much he would rate Chavan on a scale of 10, he said he would grant him “a ten on ten”, and added that Chavan was performing well and was taking good decisions.