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 in power in the state as per the formula agreed to before the Lok Sabha polls, even as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said the ‘arrogance of power’ was punished by the people.
In another big admission, Fadnavis also claimed in his first press conference after the results that 15 independents are in touch with him and that the number may go up.
The Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, who too addressed a press conference just before that of Fadnavis, said he thanked the people for the ‘eye-opening’ results and sought to remind the BJP of the 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 the state BJP president requested me to reconsider the position 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 power.
“The results are an 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,” Fadnavis said 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 it did last time and won around 17 seats less. The voting percentage too hasn’t changed much from that of the last time, he added.
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With the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance 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 the candidate changed sides.