Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday claimed that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar was willing to join hands with the BJP to form a government in the state after the latter’s break up with the Shiv Sena in October of last year.
“Pawar had told us that he was against an idea of a three-party government. He was willing to form a government with us,” former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis told a web portal adding, “He (Pawar) later changed his mind and cornered us.”
Fadnavis has claimed that NCP had initiated talks with the BJP after it parted ways with the Shiv Sena. Two meetings had taken place to discuss the possible alliance between BJP and NCP. He says, “I was present at one such meeting. I missed the other meeting but I was aware of what was happening.”
He went on to say that nothing happened for a couple of days after these meetings. “One day, Ajit Pawar came to us and we formed the government. If the Supreme Court decision had not gone against us, we would have run the government successfully,” the LOP claimed.
Fadnavis justified the formation of the government along with Ajit Pawar that lasted for 78 hours. “When you are stabbed in the back you need to give a befitting reply. When I look back I think it was a wrong decision but we did not have any option then.”
The former CM reiterated that the BJP had not promised Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray a two and half year term as chief minister. “The 50:50 promise was about the seat-sharing. I had announced that in the joint press conference.”
Fadnavis said that NCP chief considered the alliance with BJP as he was against the alliance of 3 parties considering its stability. He said, “After denial by Sharad Pawar, one day, Ajit Pawar came to us and said that government consisting of 3 parties (INC, Shiv Sena, NCP) will be unstable and thus for the benefit of Maharashtra he is ready to form the government with BJP.” “After that we formed our government,” added the leader of opposition.
BJP leader Fadnavis also justified the formation of the government with Ajit Pawar in November 2019. The former CM went on to say that if the Supreme Court’s decision had not gone against them, they would have run the government successfully.
The former CM also spoke about Shiv Sena and reiterated that the BJP never promised Shiv Sena a two-and-a-half year term as chief minister. He also said that the issues between BJP and Sena could have been sorted out but Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not even speak with him during those days.
The strained relations between BJP and Shiv Sena could have been normalised but Thackeray avoided a dialogue, Fadnavis claims. He said, “Uddhav Thackeray did not take my phone calls. Such a thing had never happened when we were in power together for five years. I felt dejected when he refused to even talk to me.”
Devendra Fadnavis said he vividly remembers the sequence of events that led to the fall of his government and Uddhav Thackeray swearing-in as CM on 28 November, 2019.
Fadnavis announced that he will pen his memories in the form of a book in the future.