Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday served an ultimatum to Devendra Fadnavis over government formation in the state, which has taken a backseat following wrangling between the BJP and ally Shiv Sena over ’50-50’ power sharing.
Speaking to Media, Pawar said the government should be formed before the Ayodhya verdict — hearings for which have concluded — as “everyone knows what happened in Mumbai last time over Ayodhya”. “For a peaceful Maharashtra, a new government should be put in place,” he said.
The BJP and Shiv Sena have been locked in a protracted battle in the state for over a week now, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party demanding the chief minister’s post after an impressive performance in the elections, which saw a dip in the BJP’s share. The BJP, on the other hand, denied that such a decision was taken but expressed confidence that the government would be formed in alliance with the Sena.
Speculations of an alternative arrangement in the state were rife after Sena leader Sanjay Raut met Pawar on Thursday in what was seen as the party sending feelers to the opposition leaders.
Denying the rumours, Pawar said there was no talk with the Sena. “The mandate in Maharashtra is not fractured. It is the responsibility of the BJP-Sena to form the government.” He denied that his party would support the BJP to enable a stable government in the state.
The NCP veteran, however, seemed to support the cause of the Sena and said: “BJP had said there will be an understanding on equal basis. This was prior to assembly elections. That statement shows what Sena has said has some truth.”
Calling Fadnavis “arrogant”, Pawar said the BJP’s target ahead of elections “wasn’t overconfidence but the arrogance of Fadnavis”. He also took a dig at Amit Shah, saying he wasn’t sure if Shah was the home minister as he is working “full-time” for the BJP.
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