Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 3 (ANI): Describing the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government as an “illegitimate child,” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the people had given the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance a significant mandate in the 2019 assembly polls but Uddhav Thackeray “cheated them” by aligning with NCP and Congress to become the chief minister
In an interview with ANI Editor Smita Prakash which was recorded on June 29 before the split in NCP, Fadnavis said Uddhav Thackeray formed the government with those who didn’t get the mandate.
“MVA government was an illegitimate child. It was not born out of electoral results because Shiv Sena and BJP fought together in 2019 and together we declared that the elections were being fought under Devendra Fadnavis. PM Modiji, Home Minister Saab (Amit Shah), Naddaji said it and even Uddhav Thackerayji said it,” Fadnavis said.
Mentioning the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election results as a landslide mandate for the BJP- Shiv Sena alliance, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was illegitimate because it was formed with parties that had failed to secure the mandate of the people.
“At that time, the people of Maharashtra gave that government a 170-seat mandate. Out of the 288, we won around 170, adding our (other) alliance seats, it was 175. It was a landslide mandate that the people gave us. But the Uddhav Thackeray government was formed with those who didn’t get the mandate, those who failed in getting the mandate of the people… so it was an illegitimate government,” he added.
On Eknath Shinde, who split the Shiv Sena, joining hands with BJP, Fadnavis said these 40 MLAs sought votes with photos of PM Modi ji and Bal Saheb Thackeray and not with photos of Sharad Pawar or Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“So ours was the legitimate government and these MLAs who got the mandate of the people are with us. It was the legitimate mandate,”
On the breaking of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the question of ‘who cheated whom’, Fadnavis said that the MVA government was illegitimate because it was formed with parties that had failed to secure the mandate of the people.
Fadnavis further accused Uddhav Thackeray of betrayal and claimed that he cheated them by aligning with other parties to become the chief minister.
“Uddhav ji cheated us. I will tell you why I said it. The elections were and the results were announced. It was about 10 days since we got the mandate but Uddhav ji wasn’t responding to our calls or wasn’t ready to talk. The numbers were in a certain way that Uddhav ji felt if he and his MLAs could form a government with those on the other side. We understood this by that time, that he wanted to become the chief minister. But many from his party were not happy with this and even discussed it with us. They wanted to form the government with BJP, which they believed will give a strong rule in Maharashtra”, Fadnavis said.
Fadnavis said that at that time he held meetings with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and he even agreed that BJP and NCP will stand together and will give a stable government in Maharashtra. He further slammed Sharad Pawar and said that Uddhav Thackeray indulged in backstabbing while Sharad Pawar was engaged in a double play.
“I have told this before and am telling this again, I held meetings with Sharad Pawar. He agreed to give a stable government in Maharashtra… BJP and NCP will stand together and he even put this responsibility on me and Ajit Pawar to decide on the number of ministers, their portfolios and the districts for the guardian ministers. But one fine morning, Sharad Pawar backed out and decided to join the other side. But Ajit Pawar said that after all this he can’t back out of this because he was given the responsibility and so we went forward with it. But then the Supreme Court verdict came and if we go deeper into the verdict we will understand that if those MLAs who came with Ajit Pawar stayed then they could have been disqualified because the party didn’t join us, only some people did. That is why Ajit Pawar went back. So actually Uddhav Thackeray did backstabbing and Pawar ji was doing double-play”, Fadnavis added.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Sunday joined the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra and took oath as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister on Sunday in a surprise and dramatic political move that changed political equations in the state ahead of Lok Sabha and assembly polls next year and has ramifications for national politics.
The day of hectic political developments in Maharashtra saw state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde using “hit wicket” cricket parlance in an apparent response to ‘googly’ analogy used earlier by NCP leader Sharad Pawar to target BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The move by Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, which also saw eight other NCP MLAs joining the Shinde-Fadnavis government, came amid efforts by opposition parties to forge unity to take on the BJP in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Sharad Pawar, a former Mahrashtra Chief Minister, has been a key leader in opposition unity efforts.
Hitting out at NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shinde said that some people were talking about “googly” but everyone saw who was clean bowled and “it’s a hit wicket”.
“This is not a new government, Shiv Sena and BJP government were functioning under PM Modi’s leadership. Development work was going on and Ajit Pawar who believed in the development work, supported and joined the government,” CM Shinde said.
“I welcome him and his MLAs wholeheartedly. He has a lot of MPs and MLAs which will definitely help in the development of Maharashtra. This double-engine government will now run at the speed of a bullet train. MVA government is broken… Some people were talking about googly and clean bowled, but everyone saw today who was clean bowled…it’s a hit wicket”, Shinde added.
Ajit Pawar’s move in some ways resembled the split in Shiv Sena almost a year back which led to Shinde becoming Chief Minister. The move came over three-and-a-half years after Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as deputy CM at an early morning swearing-in ceremony, but their government did not last long.
Ajit Pawar, who was the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, claimed all MLAs are with him.
“We have all the numbers. All MLAs are with me. We are here as a party. We have informed all seniors also. The majority is given importance in a democracy. Our party is 24-year old and young leadership should come forward,” Ajit Pawar said after taking oath as Deputy Chief Minister. Former union minister Praful Patel was also with him. (ANI)
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