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Fadnavis Gets BJP's Seal of Approval to be Maharashtra CM for 2nd Term Even as Sena Refuses to Blink

In what could be construed as an outreach to bickering ally Sena, Fadnavis thanked party chief Uddhav Thackeray for his support 'because of which we won such a huge mandate'.


Updated:October 30, 2019, 6:48 PM IST
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Fadnavis Gets BJP's Seal of Approval to be Maharashtra CM for 2nd Term Even as Sena Refuses to Blink
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday elected Devendra Fadnavis as its legislature party leader, essentially handing over the reins of Maharashtra to him for a second term even as ally Shiv Sena continues to flex its muscle and demand a rotational chief ministership.

All the 105 newly-elected BJP MLAs were present at the meeting, which was attended by Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and party vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna as central observers. The meeting was held at Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai.

Tomar says no other name was proposed at the BJP legislature party meeting.

Addressing the media after his election, Fadnavis conveyed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for trusting him with the responsibility of running the state again, where the BJP saw a considerable dip in its numbers in the recently concluded elections.

In what could be construed as an outreach to its bickering ally, Fadnavis thanked Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for his support “because of which we won such a huge mandate”.

“This is a huge victory. Since 1995, no party had got more than 75 seats. And consistently, for 2014 and 2019, we got more than 100. This is a mandate for mahayuti and only mahayuti will form a stable government,” he said.

Fadnavis asserted that the alliance partners will soon form the government in the state, dubbing the rumours of "alternate formulae" being worked out to form the government as "entertainment".

"The mandate of voters of Maharashtra is for the 'Mahayuti' (BJP-Sena alliance). Hence, the 'Mahayuti' is going to form its government soon in the state," Fadnavis said. "Though there are several rumours floating around in the state about alternate formulae being worked out to form the government, it is more of an entertainment."

Fadnavis pointed out that after 1995, no party in the state won more than 75 seats in polls to the 288-member Assembly, but the BJP bagged 122 seats in 2014 and 105 in the just-concluded elections.

While moving the motion to elect Fadnavis as leader of the House, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said, "In the last five years, no faction in the BJP ever went to Delhi and requested to replace Fadnavis. There were protests and agitations (in the state) in last five years, but no one said Fadnavis should resign. This indicates his skills and acceptability across the state."

Buoyed by the results of the assembly elections, the Shiv Sena has been trying to snatch a bigger piece of the pie, reminding the BJP of the “50-50” power-sharing agreement arrived at before the elections.

The tug-of-war for the CM’s chair took a turn for the worse after Fadnavis on Tuesday denied that such an agreement was reached and asserted that he could continue as the chief minister. This angered the Sena, which called off talks with the BJP.

Wednesday’s development, however, comes as a seal of approval for Fadnavis from the BJP and thus closes the doors on the demands for the chief minister’s post by the Sena, which has been rooting for Thackeray scion Aaditya — who made his political debut in these elections — to take the chair.

The Sena has now called a crucial meeting of its members on Thursday to decide the future course of action.

(With inputs from PTI)

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