Amid talks that Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena may take support of the Congress and the NCP to form the government in Maharashtra, Sena leader and Union Heavy Industries Minister Arvind Sawant resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Monday.
Addressing the media in the national capital, Sawant said, “BJP went back from their pre-election promises. It would not have been morally right for me to continue in the Centre, so I have resigned as Union minister.”
“On May 21, I had taken oath as Cabinet minister in the Modi government. The elections in Maharashtra were held on the basis of an alliance with the BJP. Prior to the polls, the two parties had agreed for a ’50-50′ formula over the post of chief minister. However, BJP later changed their words. In such an atmosphere, it is not morally right for me to continue. This is why I submitted my resignation to PM Modi today,” he added.
Sawant, who was Sena’s lone minister in the Modi Cabinet, tweeted: “The Shiv Sena’s stand is of truth. Why should I stay in an atmosphere of falsehood in Delhi? I am resigning as Union minister and will speak at a press conference in Delhi.”
Asserting that ahead of the elections, a formula was worked out about sharing of power and seat and that both Shiv Sena and the BJP had agreed to it, Sawant further tweeted: “But now, it is shocking that the decision arrived at is being denied and the Shiv Sena is being projected as not speaking truth. This is shocking. This is a blot on the state’s pride. The BJP has parted ways by crossing limits of falsehood.”
The development comes a day after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited his party to stake claim to form government in the state. The party has time till 7.30 pm on Monday to stake claim to form government.
The NCP and Congress are presently holding meetings in Mumbai and Delhi, respectively, to discuss the Shiv Sena’s proposal to jointly form a government in Maharashtra.
Thackeray’s party is the second-largest party in the 288-member House. While the BJP had won 105 seats, the Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats in the October 21 state polls. Also, the NCP and Congress bagged 54 and 44 seats, respectively.
शिवसेनेची बाजू सत्याची आहे. अशा खोट्या वातावरणात दिल्लीतील सरकार मध्ये तरी का रहायचे?
आणि म्हणूनच मी केंद्रीय मंत्री पदाचा राजीनामा देत आहे. या संदर्भात आज सकाळी ११.०० वा. दिल्ली येथे मी पत्रकार परिषद (Press Conference) घेणार आहे.
— Arvind Sawant (@AGSawant) November 11, 2019
On Sunday, the NCP laid down a set of conditions for backing a Shiv Sena-led ruling formation: Cut ties with BJP, quit NDA, evolve a common programme. Having maintained so far that its mandate is to sit in Opposition, this is the first time when Sharad Pawar’s party has indicated its willingness to offer “conditional” support to the Sena.
“If the Governor extends an invitation to the Sena and the party desires support of the NCP and the Congress, it should first snap all ties with the BJP, making an announcement to that effect. The Sena will have to walk out of the NDA. Their minister (Arvind Sawant) in the Narendra Modi government will have to resign,” said NCP’s national spokesperson and Mumbai party president Nawab Malik.