Aurangabad, Sep 17 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday addressed leaders including Union minister Raosaheb Danve at a function here as former and possible "future colleagues", leading to speculation as to whether a political realignment was in the offing.
Thackeray-led Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP after the 2019 Assembly polls and formed government with the NCP and Congress.
Addressing the dignitaries on the dais at a function here, Thackeray said, "My former, current, and if we come together, future colleagues." Danve, a BJP leader from Maharashtra, was present, so was senior state minister Balasaheb Thorat of Congress.
Later, speaking to reporters at another event, Thackeray clarified that he said former and current colleagues because there were leaders from all parties on the dais. "If everybody comes together, they can become future colleagues too. Time will tell," he added cryptically.
Notably, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil had said earlier this week that he should be no longer called a `former' state minister' as things were changing.
Reacting to Thackeray's remarks, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis told reporters elsewhere that he must have realized that the state was suffering because of the Sena's "unnatural alliance" with the NCP and Congress.
"He must have expressed his thoughts after realizing what kind of people he is working with....Everything is possible in politics, but the state BJP is not eyeing power. We are an efficient opposition party and will continue our work," the former chief minister added.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut sought to downplay Thackeray's comments, stating that Danve was everybody's friend.
"When he was state BJP chief, all was well. There is nothing earth-shaking in the comment. Those who want to come with us can join and become future colleagues. Don't read too much into this," Raut added.
He also claimed that he had learnt that Chandrakant Patil was offered the post of Nagaland governor by the BJP.