Fadnavis quits; says Sena shunned BJP but talked to Cong-NCP

Mumbai: Devendra Fadnavis on Friday resigned as Maharashtra chief minister, five years and a week after he assumed the state’s top job, as an aggressive Shiv Sena rebuffed all attempts to form an alliance government.
Fadnavis, 49, drove to Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who asked him to be the “caretaker CM” till alternate arrangements are made.
The development came a fortnight after results of the October 21 Assembly elections were declared. “The alternate arrangements could be anything, be it a new government or imposition of President’s rule,” Fadnavis told reporters after meeting the governor.
“The governor has accepted my resignation. I thank the people of Maharashtra for giving me the chance to serve them for the last five years,” Fadnavis said. Fadnavis blamed ally Shiv Sena for the impasse over government formation after the Assembly polls. Refuting Sena’s claim, Fadnavis asserted that no decision was taken “in his presence” that the two will share the chief minister’s post.
“I again want to make it clear that it was never decided that the CM’s post will be shared. There was never a decision on this issue. Even Amit Shah ji and Nitin Gadkari ji said this was never decided,” he said.
The Sena had claimed that before the Lok Sabha polls, the two allies had decided to share the CM’s post in the next term for two-and-half-years each. Fadnavis said he called Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for breaking the impasse many times, but “Uddhav ji did not take my calls.”
The Shiv Sena’s “policy” of not talking with the BJP but holding talks with the opposition Congress and NCP was wrong, he said. “The day poll results came, Uddhav ji said all options open for government formation. That was shocking for us as people had given mandate for our alliance and in such circumstances it was a big question for us that why he said that all options are open for him,” he said.
With the impasse on government formation continuing even a fortnight after Assembly poll results, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said why wasn’t the governor calling the single largest party. Pawar said he was not aware why Governor Koshyari was not inviting the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats in the October 21 Assembly election, to stake claim to form government.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday met Pawar here “to seek his advice” on ending deadlock over government formation in Maharashtra. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pawar suggested the BJP and Shiv Sena through Athawale to respect the “clear cut majority” people have given them. Pawar said, “Such a situation should not prevail in a state like Maharashtra. (PTI)

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