MUMBAI: BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday alleged the Shiv Sena's alliance with the NCP and the Congress was a "pre-planned" move to keep his party out of power in the country's richest state.
Speaking to Marathi daily 'Loksatta' here, Fadnavis said in the five years of his government, he never let down Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena president who is now the Chief Minister heading the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
"After thinking over Sena's behaviour during post-election days, I realised that ther alliance with the NCP and the Congress was pre-planned. The Sena had already made up its mind to keep us away from power."
"In the last five years of our tenure (the BJP-Sena government) I never let down Uddhav Thackeray over any issue. But post-2019 elections, Uddhavji did not even answer my calls," he claimed when asked about the former NDA ally.
Fadnavis, the first BJP chief minister of the state, also spoke about attempts by his party to form government with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.
"A lot of things have happened behind the scenes and between the lines about the BJP and NCP's joint attempt to form government.
"What transpired between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar (during their meeting in Delhi last month) will be out soon. If I am told to speak about it, I will make it public for sure," said Fadnavis, who is now the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly.
Asked whether the Supreme Court's ruling (setting a deadline for floor test) forced NCP leader Ajit Pawar to walk out of the short-lived alliance with the BJP, Fadnavis said, "The reasons behind Ajit Pawar's withdrawal are well-known to him. He should come out and spell them."
He termed the apex court's verdict on floor test last month as "unexpected".
On November 26, the SC had ordered a floor test by 5 pm on November 27 to determine the strength of the BJP-Ajit Pawar government.
The apex court had also ruled out secret ballot route to prove majority in the assembly.
Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, his then deputy, resigned before the floor test in the assembly.
"However, the decision of the Supreme Court was unexpected to us as it was not as per the business rules of the assembly.
But we decided to respect the court's decision," said the former chief minister, whose second stint in the top post lasted for just 80 hours.
Fadnavis said the Shiv Sena, which had a pre-poll alliance with the BJP for the October 21 assembly polls, had sought votes in the name of his party leaders.
"One should not forget that the Sena sought votes showing our leaders' images and their work but after winning, it joined hands with the Congress and the NCP.
"The Sena contested against the NCP and the Congress but post-election, it joined hands with them," said the 49- year-old MLA from the Nagpur South West constituency.
The Sena has maintained it reached out to the NCP- Congress for government formation after the BJP rejected its power-sharing formula, that included sharing the chief minister's post for 2.5 years each.
Thackeray took oath as chief minister on November 28.
Half a dozen ministers, two each from the Sena, the Congress and the NCP, also took oath along with him.
In the polls to the 288-member assembly, the BJP won 105 seats - well short of the half-way mark of 145 - followed by the Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44).