The series of events that unfolded since early Saturday morning that saw President's rule revoked and Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar being sworn in has been questioned by a large section of the Opposition as well as the BJP's critics.
Maharashtra crisis: BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday opened up on the political crisis in the western state and said that there was nothing wrong in taking support from the scam accused Ajit Pawar. He said that it was not the saffron party that went to Ajit Pawar for the support but it was the latter who came to the BJP offering support. Ajit Pawar, who is facing an investigation in the Rs 70,000-crore irrigation scam, had extended support to the BJP to form the government and took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Has the BJP’s move to form a government with Ajit Pawar dented the image of a party that claimed to have zero-tolerance against corruption? Amit Shah disagrees with this analysis “We did not go to Ajit Pawar, he came to us with a letter of support. He was the leader of the House of the NCP, so only he could have given the letter of support,” the Home Minister said while speaking at Republic Summit.
The series of events that unfolded since early Saturday morning that saw President’s rule revoked and Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar being sworn in has been questioned by a large section of the Opposition as well as the BJP’s critics. While the BJP exuded confidence that Ajit Pawar would muster the required number of NCP MLAs to prove majority on the floor of the House. However, things turned turtle following the Supreme Court’s order to conduct the floor test within 24 hours. Ajit Pawar resigned, leaving little option for Fadnavis to step down too. The BJP had been embarrassed, and the political astuteness of its top leadership under the scanner.
When asked about the shutting down of a number of cases linked to the irrigation scam within days of Ajit’s support to BJP, Amit Shah said: “Not even a single case has been closed of Ajit Pawar. None of the cases that have been shut are linked to Ajit. This decision (of closing the cases) should not have been taken by officials at this time but it happened due to the deadline set by the court.”
The Home Minister also reiterated that the BJP had never given any assurances for Chief Minister post to Shiv Sena. “The mandate was for Devendra Fadnavis. In the whole campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I said in almost 100 political campaigns that Devendra Fadnavis will be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra,” Shah said. He further said that both Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray were sharing stage with him during election campaigning. “Why did they not challenge our promise of Fadnavis becoming the CM again, ever?” asked Amit Shah.
Speaking on what will happen next in Maharashtra, Amit Shah said that the BJP will sit in the opposition and let the government run the state. The Sena, NCP and Congress are together forming the government and Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to take oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday.