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Devendra Fadnavis quits as CM; Shiv Sena drifts away, begins talks with NCP & Congress

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Maharashtra Govt formation: Fadnavis quits, blames Shiv Sena for deadlock in talks
Maharashtra Govt formation: Fadnavis quits, blames Shiv Sena for deadlock in talks
MUMBAI: Maharashtra looked certain to get a new chief minister even though the contours of political alignments remained unclear. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis resigned on Friday, the last day of his first term, after a 15-day acrimonious verbal spat with ally Shiv Sena. Fadnavis met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to submit his resignation and later slammed the Sena for its stand. The governor asked Fadnavis to continue till an alternate arrangement was made.

Addressing a news conference after his resignation, Fadnavis said that it was hurtful and shocking that the Sena had not cooperated despite the alliance winning a mandate to govern the state. “On the day of the results, he (Uddhav) said all his options were open. It was surprising as we had contested as allies and the mandate was for both to govern the state. Probably from the first day Sena wanted to go with the Congress and NCP,” Fadnavis said.

“What is hurtful is that they began talking and meeting Congress and NCP leaders several times after we had contested against them. I am hurt that Uddhav did not take my call after I tried to call him. The Shiv Sena is 100% responsible for the current impasse,” Fadnavis said. He reiterated that the issue of ‘rotational CM’ was not agreed to but could have been a misunderstanding. “I have not said that Uddhav lied. I just said that the issue of sharing the chief minister’s post was not discussed with me. I checked with Amit Shah too and he too said that it was not discussed.”

Keeping the door for rapprochement with the Sena open, Fadnavis said, “the next government will be led by the BJP.” He also said that the party would initiate talks with the Sena only on condition that it stopped ‘attacks’ on its leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah through leaders like Sanjay Raut and Sena mouthpiece Saamana. The CM said that BJP would not break any party to secure a majority but was confident that it would come to power and provide a stable government.

A BJP leader said that the state could come under President’s rule for a month and it could lead to Sena MLAs pressuring its leadership for a compromise with the BJP. He said that the BJP government would return to power soon. The party said President’s rule looked likely as it did not expect the Congress to support a Sena government. BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, who was in Mumbai, said, “Such an opportunistic (Congress-NCP-Sena) alliance would not work. It is Sena’s prerogative with whom it should form the government but what is the meaning of an alliance if they keep saying all options are open?”
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