Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state will fall on its own, adding that his party will provide an alternative government when that happens, ANI reported. He clarified that the BJP was not eyeing a transfer of power in the state.
Fadanavis made the remark in response to a question about the impact of the National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the Bihar Assembly polls on Maharashtra’s politics. The NDA won 125 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, while the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan won 110 seats. The majority mark to form the government is 122.
“If we talk about this [Bihar elections] in the context of Maharashtra, it has raised our confidence,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying by the news agency. “As far as change of power in Maharashtra is concerned, we are not eyeing power in the state. This Maharashtra government will collapse one day on its own.”
Fadnavis, who was the BJP’s election in charge for Bihar polls, said that his party’s victory in the recently-concluded elections will have an impact on the polls scheduled to take place in West Bengal in 2021, as well as national politics. “We can see the wind of change in Bengal,” he told ANI. “After elections in Bengal, BJP will also form the government there.”
The BJP leader added that his party’s priority was not power, but questioning the government and supporting crisis-hit farmers. “This type of government cannot continue for long,” he told ANI. “When this government will fall, we will provide an alternative government. But today this is not our priority.”
Fadnavis went on to say that there was an “unprecedented agrarian crisis” in the state. “Farmers are worried,” he said. “The government has not provided financial assistance to them. Being an Opposition party, we are with farmers and questioning the government.”
In September, a meeting between Fadnavis and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had triggered speculation that the BJP was trying to bring down the Sena-led coalition government. Fadnavis, however, had dismissed such rumours. “We have no intention of joining hands with Shiv Sena or to bring down the government,” he had said. “When it [the government] falls on its own, we will see. My meeting with Raut had no political connotations.”
Elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly were held in October last year. The BJP had contested the polls in an alliance with the Shiv Sena. However, following the results on October 24, the two parties were unable to form the government as they fell out over a power-sharing agreement.
The Sena claimed that before the Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah had promised it the chief minister’s post for two-and-a-half years. The Shiv Sena had also demanded half of all Cabinet berths, but the BJP rejected these demands. After a political impasse for several weeks, the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Shiv Sena forged an alliance, and Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister.