MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday thanked the people for giving a clear mandate to the ‘MahaYuti’ (Grand Alliance) and said that the alliance would be back to power in the state. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar dubbed the defeat as a debacle for the ruling combined while stating that the ‘arrogance of power’ was punished by the people.
In another big admission, Fadnavis also claimed in the first press conference he addressed after the results, that 15 rebels are in touch him and that the number may go up.
Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, who too addressed a press conference, said that he thanked the people for the results and sought to remind the BJP of fifty-fifty formula for power-sharing that was decided while forming the alliance before the Lok Sabha elections.
“It is time to remind the BJP about the formula arrived at when BJP chief Amit Shah visited my home....we had decided on 50:50 formula for the alliance,” Thackeray said.
“Actually we had decided upon 144-144 seat-sharing for assembly. But, state BJP president requested me to consider their position (after the mega inflow) and I had agreed. But, I can’t go on doing so as I too have to run a political party,” he added while indicating the tough stand that his party would adopt while bargaining for the power.
“The results are eye-opener for all,” he said when asked about the decreased numbers of his party.
CM Fadnavis, however, appeared to counter the Shiv Sena’s muscle-flexing by talking about the independents.
“If you add the independents to the alliance, you will realize that numbers have not changed much. The opposition has gained some power. But, a strong opposition is always good for democracy,” said Fadnavis while commenting on the renewed party position in the assembly.
He also said that the BJP’s strike rate was better as the party contested almost half the seats that of last time and won around 17 seats less. The voting percentage too hasn’t changed much from that of the last time, he added.
With trends suggesting that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is falling well short of its target of winning 220 assembly seats in Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the message was that people did not like "the arrogance of power".
Pawar said that no party is in a position to decide on government formation alone and he would sit with his party members and the alliance leaders after he meets people of Satara. He made a special mention of Satara as the Lok Sabha seat stayed with the party even as candidate changed sides.