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4-min read

Don't Think BJP Responsible For Breaking Alliance With Sena, Says Amruta Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife Amruta in conversation with CNN-News18’s Smita Nair after BJP won 8 out of 10 municipal corporations in BMC elections.

Smitha Nair | CNN-News18smitharnair

Updated:February 26, 2017, 1:48 PM IST
Don't Think BJP Responsible For Breaking Alliance With Sena, Says Amruta Fadnavis
Image: Twitter/ Amruta Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife Amruta in conversation with CNN-News18’s Smita Nair after BJP won 8 out of 10 municipal corporations in BMC elections.

Here is a notable excerpt from the interview:

Q: Following the BJP’s victories in corporation and local body polls on Thursday, the Chief Minister, your husband has been hailed as the man of the match. He is even being heralded in some quarters as a potential future Prime Minister. From your perspective, how has Devendra Fadnavis become a force to reckon with?

A: I think similar question has been asked to the Chief Minister and he has made it clear that he wants to work for Maharashtra and has no intention to go to Delhi in the near future. He has been working with complete dedication and clear vision about the States development and it has appealed the people at large and results are before us.

Q: The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is one of the oldest political partnerships, perhaps why there are strong family ties between leaders on both sides. Did the breaking of ties between the two or indeed the acrimony of the campaign bother you?

A: The BJP-Shiv Sena Alliance has the common bond i.e. both the parties believe in Hinduism. I think every political party has a right to expand its political horizon and also to decide whom to ally with. Also, I don’t think BJP was responsible for breaking the alliance and in my opinion our trustworthiness has increased manifolds. This has been proved by the fact that BJP won in 8 out of 10 corporations and our seats have increased to 82 from 31 in BMC, since the last term. And also, BJP has proved that they can win more than 60, which Shiv Sena has offered.

Q: Many editorials have argued that Mumbai city often gets the short shift from the states elected politicians, is taken for granted. Why do you believe this chief minister will deliver for Mumbai?

A: As a responsible and aware citizen, I know he will definitely deliver. During the last 2 years I have prominently noted that, he has fulfilled all the promises he has made. The major projects like coastal roads, MTHL and Mumbai Metro have already commenced. He has got a dream for Mumbai and he is literally living it with all the perseverance and clear vision and the work towards fulfilling this dream has already begun. In fact Mumbaikars’ are gradually acknowledging that he is delivering his promises to Mumbai better than before.

Q: Wives of Indian politicians tend to stay “behind the curtain”. But you are a self-made professional and have thus far refused to play by the script. There have been some controversies, like when you recently did the music album with Amitabh Bachchan. What gives you the courage to break out from the mould?

A: As an individual I have always been interested in Music and other activities. And hence I do not believe that I am breaking out of the mould or something. Devendraji and I have always seen to it that nobody’s personal space gets hampered. We do not tend to interfere in each other’s professional lives either. And about the Music Album with Amitji, I do not think that there was a controversy.

Q: Indian politics is infamous for its sexism, overt and covert. The UP Assembly polls saw the worst if it as BJP leaders like Vinay Katiar made remarks about the looks of Priyanka Gandhi. Do you have a word of advise for these politicians?

A: As far as I know, Vinayji never made any objectionable remarks. May be he meant that there are many women leaders with exceptional personalities/political acumen and he went a bit far while comparing them, that is what it was. It was never a personal remark about the looks of Priyanka Gandhi, unlike the perception which was created.

Q: You are a banker yourself, and incidentally your bank had come under a lot of fire in the aftermath of demonetization. Was it difficult being a banker and a BJP CM’s wife in the immediate aftermath of demonetization when criticism was at its peak?

A: Since the demonetisation program was unprecedented, the challenges to the banking sector was huge. While there has been criticism , on the other side there are numerous stories of how Axis Bank has played a commendable role in reaching out to people in far flung areas, including defense people, para military forces at borders, tea garden workers etc. Bank - through its Branches took utmost care to smoothen the process of demonetisation for the customers, keeping the Required operational processes in check. Since I'm personally not into Branch Banking - I did not face the heat and I would prefer having the positive stories of the bank during demonetisation period, in my memory.

Q: You have said earlier that you keep a strict watch on your husband’s diet. Do you manage to do it still now that he is one of the busiest politicians in India?

A: I try to ensure that wherever he is- he has right diet but because of his erratic schedules, many a times it's not possible.

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