Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday accused the Shiv Sena of “betraying” the public mandate by forging an alliance with the NCP and Congress to form government after the state elections.
Addressing a rally, Fadnavis asked people to give a befitting reply to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in the upcoming zilla parishad polls in Palghar. It is unfortunate that the Shiv Sena has to compromise with those who “abused” Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, the BJP leader said, wondering how many days the Thackeray-led government will survive amid the “infighting”.
The Sena not only “betrayed” the public mandate but also its pre-poll ally BJP with which it jointly contested the Assembly elections, he alleged.
Fadnavis said in the Assembly polls held in October last year, the BJP won 70 per cent of the seats that it contested and emerged as the single largest party, while the Shiv Sena bagged only 45 per cent of the seats that it fought.
“Citizens gave a clear mandate to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine, but unfortunately due to betrayal by the Sena, which joined hands with the NCP and Congress, the BJP has to remain out of power,” the leader of opposition in the Assembly said.
Hitting out at Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for “betraying” the BJP, he said from day one (since Sena formed government with the NCP and Congress), the three parties were not able to decide the names of ministers.
“Even after the selection of ministers, there is growing discontent among the Shiv Sena leaders and activists, and in case of the Congress, its activists have even gone to the extent of ransacking their party offices,” he said.
Notably, some supporters of Congress MLA Sangram Thopte attacked the party office in Pune on Tuesday to protest against his non-inclusion in the Maharashtra ministry.
Fadnavis said people of Maharashtra gave a “clear majority to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine” to form government, but later things took a different turn and citizens have a witness to the political developments in the state.
“It is unfortunate that it took weeks (for the Thackeray-led alliance) to finalise government formation and then form the Cabinet,” the BJP leader said.
On the farm loan waiver scheme announced by Thackeray, he said, “It is nothing but an eyewash and several conditions are attached to it, as a result of which nearly 60 lakh farmers in the state will not get benefit of the scheme.”
The Shiv Sena made “tall claims” that the 7/12 (land title) of farmers would be wiped clean (of liabilities).
“They have taken the farmers for a ride and none of them will get the benefit,” Fadnavis said, while recalling that Thackeray had earlier demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare for farmers who suffered from crop losses. “Now, they have gone back on their word,” he alleged.
Fadnavis said when the Shiv Sena is queried about it, the party points fingers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi (for assistance). “Did you ask Modiji when you joined hands with the NCP and Congress? No doubt, Modiji will help you, but remember farmers and citizens of the state will make your (Shiv Sena’s) political slate blank and show you the door,” he said.
This government will be controlled not from ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s residence in Mumbai), but by the “Matoshree of Delhi”, Fadnavis said in sarcastic remarks, apparently referring to the top Congress leadership.
On Uddhav Thackeray’s comments that he gave a word to his father late Balasaheb Thackeray of making a Shiv Sainik the chief minister of Maharashtra, Fadnavis asked if the CM said he would do so with the help of the NCP and Congress.
“Balashaeb will be crying in heaven if he learns about the Sena’s move in the state politics,” he said. He asked BJP activists to go to every house in Palghar and tell them about the work done by the party in the last five years.