BJP president Amit Shah, speaking for the first time on the political developments in Maharashtra following the recommendation of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to the Centre to impose President’s rule on the State, said that Shiv Sena’s demands that arose after the election were not acceptable. Shah said. “Many times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I had said publicly that if our coalition won the election, Devendra Fadnavis would be the chief minister.” The BJP president said that nobody opposed it at the time. “Now they have come up with new demands, which cannot be accepted,” he said.
Shah defended Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s move, saying that earlier, no State was given so much time to form a government: 18 days. “The governor called all the parties only when the term of the Legislative Assembly ended. The Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and us — none claimed it could form the government. Even today, if any party has the numbers, it can go to the governor,” he said.
Shah said, “Even now the parties have a chance; they can come together and approach the governor. Where is the question of not being given a chance? The opposition is doing politics on this issue. Dragging a constitutional office bearer to politics is not a healthy tradition for democracy. The governor gave everyone six months’ time to form the government.”
‘Governor has taken a fair decision’
Shah said, “The governor has done the right thing. Who was not given a chance? How was the opportunity taken away? Scholarly lawyers like Kapil Sibal put childish arguments before the country. We were the biggest party. Our ally introduced conditions to form the government, which were not acceptable to us. Those who are claiming that we did not get a chance to form the government still have a chance.”
The BJP president said, “It’s not the culture of my party to make public what happened behind closed doors. BJP has suffered the biggest loss due to the President’s rule. The caretaker government is now gone. The opposition has not lost. We have not betrayed anybody. We were ready to form a government with the Shiv Sena. But some things about the Shiv Sena we could not accept. The prime minister, Devendra Fadnavis and I said many times that if our coalition government were to be formed, Fadnavis will be the chief minister. We have problems with the new terms set by the Sena, the party will consider it at the appropriate time.”
Shah said, “I do not want a mid-term election. When the six months are over, the governor will proceed after seeking legal advice.”