- Uddhav to Blame for Sena Split; My Focus is on Maharashtra, Not Delhi: Devendra Fadnavis at CNN-News18 Town Hall
- Believing Ajit Pawar was my biggest political blunder: Devendra Fadnavis at CNN-News18 Town Hall
Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray is responsible for the recent political turmoil in the state and it is his style of working that led to the split in the Shiv Sena, Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said at the CNN-News18 Town Hall on Saturday. Speaking at the event, Fadnavis also categorically stated that his focus remains on Maharashtra and not Delhi.
“Only Uddhav Thackeray is responsible for the political debacle and crisis in Maharashtra. His working style is responsible for the Shiva Sena split. Around 30-40 MLAs left the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and Uddhav Thackeray had no idea about,” Fadnavis said.
“Uddhav ji used say in his speeches that ‘you can try to bring down my government’. I said ‘one day your government will come down and you won’t even realise it’. And that’s exactly what happened,” he added.
Maharashtra underwent a sea change in power in June-July with Sena leader Eknath Shinde launching a rebellion against Thackerays’ leadership. The majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Sena-NCP-Congress government led by Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde, with BJP support, was sworn in as CM on June 30, a day after Uddhav Thackeray quit the post.
The events marked the BJP’s return to power in the state after 2019 falling out with long-time ally Shiv Sena.
“Uddhav Thackeray made a mockery of the mandate. When we fought in alliance, at every gathering, PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah said the CM will be from the BJP. Uddhav ji was also on stage and clapped. But when aspirations exceed capabilities, people make decisions,” Fadnavis said.
Also read: CNN-NEWS 18 Town Hall Mumbai Chapter, Aditya Thackeray
“We fought under Balasaheb Thackeray’s leadership for Hindutva and today they are calling Balasaheb, janab Balasaheb Thackeray… publishing calendar in Urdu… this type of appeasement was never done by the Shiv Sena.”
He, however, added that while Thackeray may be a political opponent, “we are not enemies”. “I can talk to Uddhav Thackeray even now, but it may be a non-political conversation. All things should not be viewed from political angle only.”
The former chief minister also trashed rumours of conspiracy at being given the deputy CM’s post. “My focus is on Maharashtra, not Delhi… I believe only the Opposition tried to cut me to size. My party and leaders were behind me. It’s all conspiracy theory,” he said.
In a rapid-fire question, Devendra Fadnavis said that believing Ajit Pawar was his biggest political blunder, he went on to say that when such things happen, it is important live long enough to revenge such political back stabbings.
On Partition and historical figures
Speaking about how people accuse the Government of dividing the nation, Fadnavis pointed out, “We all know how the earlier Government contributed to the partition. Our party dreams of a united India.” Addressing the Veer Savarkar controversy, he said, “I idolise historical figures like Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. I don’t know why people don’t want to acknowledge the contribution of Veer Savarkar. We just want to recognize Savarkar’s efforts and bravery.”
On Mumbai metro lines and potholes
Speaking on Maharashtra achieving the 1 trillion economy goal, Fadnavis spoke of reviving the metro lines soom. He said, “In 2023, Part 1 will be commissioned. By the end of 2023, the entire line will be commissioned. Whatever work began 3 to 4 years ago, will be delivered soon. If we start the metro, we will be able to cut down carbon emission by 2.5 lakh tonnes. Also, Mumbai has 1900 kilometres of road network. Out of which 800 kilometres will be concretized. After this, there will be no potholes in Mumbai after 3 to 5 years.”