“Ajit Pawar came to us offering support. He was the leader of the legislature party, we believed he had the support… He was the one who gave us the support letter. I believe as leader of the party he believed the MLAs would support him, but they did not. When he expressed his inability, we withdrew. We did not indulge in horse-trading. If Ajit Pawar was misleading us, then the questions should be asked of him and not us,” the BJP chief said at an event organised by Republic TV.
He was asked why he had chosen to align with Ajit Pawar when the ideologies of the two parties did not match. “We have not compromised on our ideology by accepting the support of Ajit Pawar. We did not say that Ram Mandir should not be built. The Shiv Sena president was supposed to go for a visit to Ayodhya but dropped it for becoming CM,” Shah said.
He also said the fact that BJP could not form the government was not a setback for the party. “When you lose an election, it is a setback. If your partner leaves you and goes to the other side, what can you do? We will make a responsible opposition.”
Shah also denied that any case related to the Maharashtra irrigation scam where Ajit Pawar was being probed had been closed.
About the attacks on the BJP for trying to forge an alliance with the NCP and form the government, he said, “People are saying many things. But I want to ask who betrayed the mandate first. I say it was done by Shiv Sena… When leaving their ideology and alliances behind these three parties came together, everyone was patting their backs… Those who did this are not being blamed… But when we are trying to respect the mandate, we are being blamed. Just to keep BJP out of power, all values have been sacrificed…,” Shah said.
“We never gave any assurance to Shiv Sena of chief ministership. Even if it is so, then throughout the campaign we said Fadnavis would be the CM. Why didn’t they challenge this?” Shah asked.
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