Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis claimed that it was NCP leader Ajit Pawar who first approached him to form government in the state, but admitted the move later “boomeranged”.
“He (Ajit Pawar) made me talk to some MLAs who told me they wanted to go with the BJP. He also told me that he had discussed it with (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar,” Fadnavis told news channel Zee 24taas. He also said that Ajit Pawar has assured him of support of all 54 NCP MLAs.
On November 23, in a major turn of events during the deadlock in government formation in state, Fadnavis and Pawar were sworn in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister in an early morning ceremony. This came at a time when coalition talks between the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena were at an advanced stage.
“Ajit Pawar approached us and said the NCP doesn’t want to go with the Congress. A three-party government (also involving the Shiv Sena) can’t run. We (NCP) are ready to go with the BJP for a stable government,” he said.
Meanwhile, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had earlier said that he was aware that party leader and his nephew Ajit Pawar was in touch with Devendra Fadnavis, but didn’t know he would go so far as to join the BJP government.
Fadnavis, whose government could only last for 80 hours, also admitted that the move completely “boomeranged”. He added that the “behind the scenes” and “between the lines” stories about the political drama will be revealed in days to come.
Fadnavis had resigned on November 26, paving the way for a Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government led by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
He also said he had nothing to do with the clean chit given to Ajit Pawar in the irrigation scam, saying “the ACB affidavit is of November 27, and I resigned on November 26”.