Ajit Pawar Approached Me to Form Govt in Maha, Says Fadnavis; Admits the Move Boomeranged


Mumbai: Leader of Opposition and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed on Saturday that it was Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar who had approached him to form a government in Maharashtra.

In a stunner amid deadlock in government formation in the state and while talks between non-BJP parties were at an advanced stage, Fadnavis and Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister in a hush-hush ceremony early morning on November 23. The government lasted only 80 hours.

Speaking to a news channel, Fadnavis said Pawar had assured him of the support of all 54 NCP MLAs.

"He made me talk to some MLAs who told me they wanted to go with the BJP. Ajit Pawar also told me he had discussed it with (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar," said Fadnavis.

"Ajit Pawar approached us and said the NCP doesn't want to go with the Congress. A three-party government (also involving the Shiv Sena) can't run. We (NCP) are ready to go with the BJP for a stable government," Fadnavis said.

The BJP leader admitted the move "boomeranged", but added that "behind the scenes" and "between the lines" stories about the political drama will be revealed in the days to come.

Fadnavis resigned on November 26, paving the way for a Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government led by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. He also said he had nothing to do with the clean chit given to Ajit Pawar in the irrigation scam, saying "the ACB affidavit is of November 27, and I resigned on November 26".

Fadnavis went on to add that the ACB affidavit "will not stick (stand) in high court".

In the Assembly poll, the results of which were declared on October 24, the BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member House, the Sena coming second with 56 seats, the NCP getting 54 and the Congress 44 seats.