Devendra Fadnavis decodes mysteries of Sharad Pawar; ‘Used and misled BJP’ | India News

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Devendra Fadnavis has finally lifted the lid on his ill-fated and shortlived government with NCP’s Ajit Pawar, revealing that the BJP had been double-crossed

“The idea of an alliance with NCP at the time began with discussions with Pawar Sahab.”

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in an exclusive interview with Arnab Goswami, finally broke his silence on the shortlived alliance between the BJP and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in November 2019. Revealing a hitherto unconfirmed but long-speculated piece of information, Fadnavis disclosed that the alliance was only forged after Sharad Pawar’s blessing.

Speaking to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Wednesday, Fadnavis said that Pawar double-crossed the BJP by backing out of the alliance days before the oathtaking, leaving it hamstrung. Summing together multiple questions and angles on Pawar and how he functions, Fadnavis said, “You’ll have to understand Sharad Pawar’s history if you want to understand his mystery.”

Fadnavis reveals how his 5-day government came about 

“I can say this clearly – when Uddhav Thackeray severed ties with us and got in touch with Congress-NCP for the CM’s chair, we deliberated on our alternatives because Uddhav Ji wasn’t even picking our calls,” Fadnavis said referring to the break-up of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance after almost three decades despite them winning the 2019 Maharashtra election. The separation had been on account of Shiv Sena insisting on the CM’s post, or at least a 2.5-year split, despite being the junior partner in the alliance.

“At the time, some people from NCP said that few leaders can join the BJP because they want a stable government. We had a meeting with Sharad Pawar and it was decided that we will form the government in Maharashtra and we prepared the modus operandi. We decided that Ajit Pawar and I will take the alliance forward and we made preparations for that. But at one fine moment, Sharad Pawar separated during the preparations. This happened 3 or 4 days before we took the oath,” the current Deputy CM said. 

What followed was one of the most unheralded moments in recent Indian political history, as November 23, 2019 dawned in Maharashtra with Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar being administered the oath of office by then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. 

Fadnavis lamented, “Ajit Pawar was left with no alternative but to come with us because we had made all the preparations. Otherwise, he would have been exposed and finished. Ajit Pawar said that we will form the government and Pawar Saheb will finally join us, but he did not and we had to end the government”. The surprise alliance was gone as quickly as it came as NCP legislators flocked to Sharad Pawar’s newly minted MVA alliance with Shiv Sena and Congress. Not long after, Ajit Pawar also followed suit and was once again made Deputy CM. 

“The idea of an alliance at the time began with discussions with Sharad Pawar,” Fadnavis reiterated wistfully adding that “what Uddhav Thackeray did was backstab. But what Pawar Saheb did was leave after using and misleading us. He played a double-game.” 

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