Mumbai, Nov.08: Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Friday with no sign of a new government and his BJP and its ally Shiv Sena no closer to forming one together. Mr Fadnavis met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to hand in his resignation hours before the midnight deadline for government formation.
The term of the Maharashtra assembly ends tomorrow.
Addressing the media, Mr Fadnavis delivered his strongest statement against the Shiv Sena since 2014, when he took over as Chief Minister. He also questioned whether the Shiv Sena, which had not spared Prime Minister Narendra Modi from its attacks, was worth continuing an alliance with.
"Given their statements, especially against the PM, we are stunned and hurt. No one from the BJP ever targeted Bal Thackeray (Sena founder) or Uddhav Thackeray. But the way the Sena relentlessly attacked Modi-ji, even our rivals didn’t. We cannot accept it. It seems the Shiv Sena is not interested in continuing the alliance," Mr Fadnavis said, commenting that the BJP was taken aback by Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray’s "all options are open" statement.
"People hadn’t voted for BJP or Shiv Sena. In the past 15 days, the statements by the Shiv Sena or their demands, we have never promised any rotational chief ministership. There was no discussion to give the Sena two-and-a-half years to rule, at least in my presence, and I was there in the entire meeting," he reiterated.
The BJP and Shiv Sena failed to resolve a feud that began hours after they won a clear majority in last month’s Maharashtra election.
On October 24, the day of the results, Uddhav Thackeray sought to remind the BJP of a "50:50" power-sharing arrangement including chief ministership for the Sena for two-and-a-half years of the five-year term.
Mr Fadnavis, hoping for his second full term, rejected such a deal, but the BJP offered deputy chief ministership and key ministries, something that failed to mollify its long-term ally.