Fad­navis re­signs as CM, trades barbs with Ud­dhav

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MUM­BAI: The three-decade-old al­liance be­tween the BJP and its old­est ally Shiv Sena ap­peared to be on a shaky ground af­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis, who quit as Chief Min­is­ter on Fri­day, and Sena chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray were en­gaged in a bit­ter pub­lic show­down over shar­ing the chief min­is­ter­ship in Ma­ha­rash­tra.

Fad­navis and Thack­eray traded charges over power-shar­ing ar­range­ment at their re­spec­tive news con­fer­ences shortly af­ter the BJP leader drove to Raj Bha­van and handed over his res­ig­na­tion to Gov­er­nor Bha­gat Singh Kosh­yari, five years and a week af­ter he as­sumed the state’s top job.

Fad­navis blamed the Sena for re­buff­ing all at­tempts to form an al­liance govern­ment and in­sisted no de­ci­sion was taken in his pres­ence on shar­ing the Chief Min­is­ter­ship while Thack­eray claimed the BJP had agreed to share the post dur­ing his talks with Amit Shah be­fore the Lok Sabha polls. Thack­eray also in­di­cated that all op­tions are open for his party in for­ma­tion of the next govern­ment. The Gov­er­nor ac­cepted Fad­navis’s res­ig­na­tion and asked him to be the “care­taker CM” till al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments are made.

All eyes are now on the Gov­er­nor on his next course of ac­tion. The ten­ure of the ex­ist­ing Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly ends mid­night tonight.

MUM­BAI: Shiv Sena chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray on Fri­day strongly coun­tered Deven­dra Fad­navis’s claim that BJP and Sena had not agreed on shar­ing of Ma­ha­rash­tra chief min­is­ter’s post dur­ing Thack­eray’s talks with BJP chief Amit shah.

There will be no talks with the BJP un­less it ac­cepted that the two al­lies had de­cided share the Chief Min­is­ter’s post, he said.

He will ful­fill the prom­ise made to his fa­ther, late Bal Thack­eray, to in­stall a Shiv Sena chief min­is­ter in the state, and “I do not need Shah or Fad­navis for this,” Ud­dhav, who spoke to the me­dia soon af­ter Fad­navis re­signed as chief min­is­ter, said.

Fad­navis, who re­signed ear­lier in the day, claimed that the BJP lead­ers had not agreed on Sena’s de­mand of shar­ing of CM’s post.

“I will not talk to peo­ple who call me a liar. I will not tol­er­ate this. The care­taker (CM) should not try to prove that I am a liar. I have never spo­ken lies in my life,” Thack­eray said on Fad­navis’s claim.

Asked about the sta­tus of al­liance with the BJP, Thack­eray said, “BJP should state that there was agree­ment on shar­ing of Chief Min­is­ter’s post. It was their pre­rog­a­tive to refuse my de­mand now, but they can­not not say this was never agreed on (in the past).”

“I will not have any truck with those who call me a liar. I stopped the govern­ment for­ma­tion talks the day Fad­navis said shar­ing of Chief Min­is­ter’s post was never de­cided,” he said.

The “Amit Shah and com­pany” was ly­ing, he said. Asked if the Sena will ac­cept Fad­navis as CM, Thack­eray said, “I want to ask RSS whether speak­ing lies is part of your Hin­dutva.” The BJP and the Shiv Sena are locked in a tus­sle over the Chief Min­is­ter’s post, re­sult­ing in a pro­longed stale­mate de­spite the poll re­sults on Oc­to­ber 24 giv­ing the saf­fron al­liance a com­bined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 ma­jor­ity mark in the 288-mem­ber House.

Both the bick­er­ing part­ners, how­ever, did not state cat­e­gor­i­cally that there was no scope for rap­proche­ment in the com­ing days. Late on Fri­day night, BJP leader Sud­hir Mun­gan­ti­war

said the al­liance was not over, and the Shiv Sena should re­spect the man­date.

Fad­navis said he called Ud­dhav Thack­eray for break­ing the im­passe many times, but “Ud­dhav ji did not take my calls.” The Shiv Sena’s “pol­icy” of not talk­ing with the BJP but hold­ing talks with the op­po­si­tion Congress and NCP was wrong, he said.

Hours af­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis re­signed as Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter amid con­tin­u­ing im­passe over power-shar­ing talks with ally Shiv Sena, the Congress said the gov­er­nor should now in­vite the sin­gle largest party to form a govern­ment. State Congress pres­i­dent Balasa­heb Tho­rat said the gov­er­nor is go­ing to play a cru­cial role now, and he must go by prece­dents.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena are locked in a tus­sle over the CM’s post, re­sult­ing in a pro­longed stale­mate de­spite the poll re­sults

Fad­navis hands over his res­ig­na­tion

Shiv Sena Chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray along with Yuva Sena Chief Aa­ditya Thack­eray ad­dresses a press meet

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