Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that the Shiv Sena was never an enemy of the saffron party, reported NDTV.

“We [Sena and the BJP] were never enemies,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said. “They were our friends and people whom they fought against, they formed a government together with them and they left us. There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken as per prevailing situations.”

Fadnavis was responding to a question on whether there was a possibility that the BJP and the Shiv Sena would reunite to form an alliance in the state.

The BJP leader’s remarks came amid speculations about a strained relationship in the current Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress coalition government.

On July 1, NCP chief Sharad Pawar dismissed the reports of a rift among the coalition partners, reported NDTV. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut had on Saturday said that the “more such rumours spread, the stronger” the coalition government will become.

The political imbroglio

The BJP had won 105 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the results of which were announced on October 24, 2019. The Shiv Sena, which was in an alliance with the BJP, won 56 seats. Despite having enough seats to form a government together, the two allies bickered over power-sharing – the chief minister’s post and Cabinet portfolios – resulting in the Shiv Sena starting negotiations with the ideologically different Congress and NCP instead.

With no outcome in sight then, the Centre had imposed President’s Rule in Maharashtra on November 12, 2019. The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP continued negotiations to form an alliance, following which Sharad Pawar announced that Uddhav Thackeray had been unanimously chosen to head the new government.

In an unexpected turn of events on November 23, 2019, Fadnavis had taken oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra early in the morning, with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy. However, Fadnavis and Pawar resigned from their positions within three days as the Supreme Court ordered a trust vote.

Thackeray took oath as the chief minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on November 28. Ajit Pawar, who switched sides, was appointed Thackeray’s deputy.