Updated: July 6, 2022 7:44:34 am
Days after taking charge as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis led a rally at his hometown in Nagpur on Tuesday, and said he had proposed the name of Eknath Shinde for Chief Minister.
Speaking to reporters after the nearly 10-km rally from the Nagpur airport to his residence in Dharampeth, Fadnavis broke his silence on his surprise appointment last week. “I proposed that Shinde be the CM, and the party agreed with me,” the former chief minister said.
“I was mentally prepared to give them (Shinde government) outside support. (But) after the press meet that day (when he announced Shinde’s name as CM), I went home and J P Nadda ji and Amit Shah ji spoke with me and told me that you cannot run the government from outside and should be part of it. So I changed my decision and was sworn in as Deputy CM,” he said.
“I will fully support Eknath Shinde. He is talented and he will be successful. I will contribute a lot to help him. We will make Maharashtra the No.1 state again,” he said.
Earlier, Fadnavis told his supporters: “Your government has come back in Maharashtra. About two-and-a-half years ago, in 2019, you had elected us to power but we were betrayed. They stabbed us in the back. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a new government of the Shiv Sena and BJP has been formed. Eknath Shinde is our Chief Minister, please give him a huge round of applause that can be heard in Mumbai and Thane.”
Criticising the previous MVA government, Fadnavis said: “There was no governance. No one knew who was running the government. No one was listening to the common man.. All projects got stalled. Agricultural projects in Vidarbha stopped. Injustice was being meted out to the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions by stopping funds.”
He said that he “entered the government as Deputy CM only after I spoke to (Narendra) Modi ji and (Amit) Shah ji”. “If they (BJP leadership) would have asked me to sit at home, I would have done that as well,” he said.
#Watch | A drone was used to shower petals on Maharashtra's Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis during his roadshow in Nagpur.
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Speaking at the press conference, his first after returning to power, Fadnavis said: “Shiv Sena workers could see how NCP and Congress were becoming strong in the government and resented it. This resentment of the Sainiks was supported by us. They came with us and we decided that we (BJP) do not want power. We could have taken power. But our party said our appeal and our pain is that our mandate was stolen. So we decided we will have a Sena CM because this fight was about ideology and not for power.”
Asked about his priorities, Fadnavis said: “The top priority is to help our farmers and farms, and make them sustainable. We want to work on all the policies that we had started when we were in power to help them… to make climate-resilient farms. Many schemes were started by us but they got stalled. All these schemes will be restarted.”
He also said that the new government is “committed to restoring OBC reservation in local bodies”.
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Asked if the BJP was trying to finish the Shiv Sena, Fadnavis said: “If you see the sequence of events, who put Sena in this situation is made clear by their own 40 MLAs. Who pushed us to do this is very clear and if the respected Uddhav (Thackeray) ji cannot see this, only God can help him. Sena is an ideology of Balasaheb’s Hindutva. Shinde was following Balasaheb’s Hindutva so we supported him. So we actually are supporting Shiv Sena.”
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