Union Minister Amit Shah rules out Fadnavis resignation

Fadnavis offered to quit as deputy CM was not prompted by emotions or sadness over the electoral setback, Fadnavis told reporters.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrives for a meeting with BJP Maharashtra MLAs, MLCs and other office bearers at Vasant Smruti, Dadar, in Mumbai.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrives for a meeting with BJP Maharashtra MLAs, MLCs and other office bearers at Vasant Smruti, Dadar, in Mumbai.Photo | PTI

MUMBAI : The BJP leadership has put Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ resignation on hold and asked him to continue his work.

Speaking after a party meeting where state BJP legislators passed a resolution reposing faith in him and seeking that he continue as party leader, Fadnavis said that fake narrative acted as another opposition party that the ruling Mahayuti coalition had to fight.

His offer to quit as deputy CM was not prompted by emotions or sadness over the electoral setback, Fadnavis told reporters, adding, “I am not someone who runs away. I fight back....When cornered on all sides, we can rise again with force...this is what we learn from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

“I met Amit Shah (in Delhi) who asked me to continue, and I will do that. We have a strategy. I have already started work (for the assembly elections which are due this year),” said the BJP leader.

Sources said Shah has told Fadnavis that the decision over his resignation will be taken after Narendra Modi’s swearing-in. “Shah needs to focus on Delhi. Once this is over, a decision over his resignation will be taken,” said a BJP source.

Fadnavis also warned his allies and the BJP not to criticize each other over the loss of Lok Sabha seats in the state.

“This is not the time to wash the dirty linen in public. We should not allow ourselves to create any narrative that will go against us. We should be alert. There is only a 3% difference between the vote share of Mahayuti (ruling alliance) and Maha Vikas Aghadi. This can be reversed if we work hard,” BJP leader said.

“As per the Lok Sabha result and the assembly segment-wise analysis, the Mahayuti can win 130 state assembly seats. Therefore, there is a shortage of 15 seats for the simple majority. We should not get discouraged and work hard. We should be happy and celebrate that Narendra Modi became prime minister for the third time. This is a happy moment,” he added.

“Fake narratives have a long life. PM Modi has decided to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Constitution (yet the narrative spread)....,” he added.

While the Mahayuti won 17 of 48 seats in Maharashtra, the MVA of the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (SP) and Congress won 30. A rebel Congress candidate won another seat.

There was a talk of sympathy for Uddhav Thackeray, but his party was “banished” from Thane and Konkan areas where it lost all seats, the BJP leader said. “In Mumbai, Marathi-speaking voters did not support Uddhav Thackeray. His party won because of the consolidation of votes of a particular community,” Fadnavis further said, adding that the Sena (UBT) had a narrow lead in Marathi-dominated assembly segments of Worli, Shivdi, Vikhroli and Bhandup.

The BJP’s vote share did not decline compared to 2019, and the saffron party lost 11 constituencies by less than 5% votes, he said. Fadnavis also asked allies Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar that party spokespersons should exercise caution while speaking, conceding that there were complaints of lack of coordination among the allies.

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