MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said that NCP leader Ajit Pawar had told him that he had the full support of NCP chief and uncle Sharad Pawar to form the government in Maharashtra, which is why they staked the claim to form the government in the state.
Speaking to exclusively to Zee Media, Fadnavis said Ajit had told him that he cannot form a coalition government of three parties with the Shiv Sena and the Congress and he wants to make a stable government with the support of BJP.
The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly further said that before forming the BJP-NCP government, Ajit had some of its MLAs talk to Fadnavis as well, who pledged their support to Ajit Pawar.
Referring to allegations that BJP indulged in horse-trading and buying out MLAs, Fadnavis refuted the claim and said that BJP never makes deals with anyone. If it had, then it would have formed a government with the support of a certain party who was adamant of the demand of having its Chief Minister for 2.5 years.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, who had contested the Maharashtra Assembly election in a pre-poll alliance, later broke apart after the two parties could not reach a consensus over the chief ministerial post and power-sharing arrangement. While Sena insisted that BJP had agreed for the 2.5 years formula, BJP maintained that no such deal happened.
Talking about the reports of fractured relations with erstwhile ally and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis said his personal relations with Thackeray are intact and there is "no wall between them."
Talking about development projects which were launched in the state during the BJP government's tenure, Fadnavis said he hoped that projects such as construction of bullet train in the state will not be stopped as it would create an environment of uncertainty around.
Fadnavis also refuted all the reports that had alleged that there is an internal rift within the party and called it t creation of the media.
He added that even this (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government doesn't know for how long it will sustain while adding that it was a contradiction in itself that Congress and Shiv Sena are in an alliance.
In a massive turn of events, Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as the state's chief minister for the second term on November 23 with NCP's Ajit Pawar becoming his deputy. The development had come a day after talks between NCP, Congress and Sena had reached the final stage to form a coalition government.
Later on November 26, Fadnavis announced his resignation before a floor test could be held to test the strength of his BJP-led government's position. Ajit Pawar had also stepped down from his post earlier on the same day. Fadnavis had blamed the fall of his government on Pawar's resignation, which he said had deprived it of a majority.