Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday clarified that BJP never indulged in horse-trading or even attempted it in Maharashtra, and reiterated that he never promised Shiv Sena the chief minister’s post.
Speaking at News18’s Agenda Jharkhand event, Shah criticised Sena’s decision to form the government in Maharashtra and added that three parties only have “lust for power” and not a common ideology.
Blaming Sena for damaging BJP's prospects of forming the government, Shah said, "We told in every public meeting that these elections are being fought under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis."
“The entire country knows what happened in Maharashtra. The BJP and Sena were in an alliance when we fought the election and mandate was with the BJP. After the results were declared, Sena came up with different demands,” Shah said at the event.
When asked specifically if he considered the decision to take Ajit Pawar’s support a miscalculation or a mistake, Shah said it can be classified as that. But he said the BJP was not betrayed by Ajit Pawar or even Sharad Pawar, but the Shiv Sena. “The NCP always fought against us, but the Sena has betrayed us,” he said.
Yet, he did not go as far as to say that the Sena and the BJP cannot come together again in the short or medium-term future. “When such a betrayal happens, it is natural for the cadre to be angry. It would not be appropriate for me to say any further,” he said.
But Shah dismissed that suggestion and claimed that the investigation against Pawar in the irrigation scam cases would have continued even if he would have remained a part of the government. He also claimed that the BJP joining hands with him was not an ideological mismatch, while Sena’s alliance with the Congress was.
"What answer will Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi give on why they joined hands with the Sena,” he asked, adding that the BJP can be satisfied with the fact that for it, ideology remained supreme and was not compromised.
First Published: IST