Union law minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday claimed that his party had warded off a “conspiracy to capture the financial capital of India through the back door” by forming the government in Maharashtra with the help of rebel Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar, reported The Hindu BusinessLine.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had won the people’s mandate and had always been the “rightful chief minister”, Prasad told reporters in New Delhi. “The people in Maharashtra were starting to ask questions that if the mandate is so clearly in BJP’s favour then why not stop this unholy alliance, why not respect the mandate and form the government?” he asked, according to NDTV.

The minister accused former alliance partner Shiv Sena of giving up its values “just for personal gains”, claiming that Sena candidates had benefited during the elections because of the goodwill enjoyed by Fadnavis. “It was the moral and electoral victory of the BJP-led alliance under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis,” Prasad told reporters. “It is important to understand this.”

Ravi Shankar Prasad took a dig at the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, saying the real schemers in Maharashtra were the parties that were forming “an unholy alliance for personal gains”. “The Congress and NCP themselves said that the mandate is for them to sit in the Opposition,” he said. “So how has this suddenly become a match-fixing to grab the chair?”

Asked about how long the Fadnavis government will get to prove its majority, Prasad said: “The place to prove our majority is the Maharashtra Assembly, and we will prove it when the time comes.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Fadnavis told BJP workers at the state headquarters that the party would provide a strong, pro-farmer government, PTI reported “Modi hai to mumkin hai [Everything possible under leadership of PM Narendra Modi],” he said.

Fadnavis thanked Ajit Pawar, the MLAs supporting his government and Independent legislators. “It is true that some friends are not with us anymore,” he said, in an apparent reference to the Shiv Sena. “Our commitment is to provide a strong government for the next five years. Our commitment is to the people of the state.”

Fadnavis was sworn in early morning after a breakaway faction of the Nationalist Congress Party supported the BJP. It came as a shock to the Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, which were gearing up to stake claim to form the government. It is not clear how many rebel NCP legislators are with the saffron party.

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