Pune: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday claimed that BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis did not appear to be happy while accepting the deputy chief minister’s post in Eknath Shinde’s government. While rebel Shiv Sena leader Shinde was sworn in as the new chief minister of Maharashtra following the collapse of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, Fadnavis, a former CM who had said he would remain outside, took oath as Shinde’s deputy.
“I think Fadnavis has not accepted the number two position happily. His facial expression said it all,” Pawar told reporters in Pune. “(But) He is from Nagpur and he has worked as a `swayamsevak’ (with the RSS) and there, when an order comes, it has to be followed,” the NCP chief said, adding that Fadnavis might have accepted a junior position due to this`sanskar’ (values).
He also spoke about the alleged misuse of central agencies under the BJP government, claiming that he received letters from the Income Tax department regarding his election affidavits in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
Pawar also said that the Eknath Shinde faction, which was camping in Guwahati after rebelling against the Uddhav Thackeray government, had not expected that their leader would become anything more than a deputy CM.
“But after the BJP’s central leadership gave the orders, chief minister’s post was given to Shinde. Nobody had an inkling about it. I think Shinde himself had no idea. The second surprise, which I do not think is a surprise really, is that Devendra Fadnavis, who worked as CM for five years and then opposition leader, had to take the post of Deputy CM following directions from the central leadership,” said Pawar.
He, however, noted that there have been such instances in the past too. He also spoke to Shinde and congratulated him, Pawar added. Pawar also rejected rebel Sena MLAs’ claims that the Sena’s tie-up with NCP and Congress was the primary reason for their rebellion.
“This allegation is baseless. It has no connection with NCP and Congress. Something has to be told to people (as an excuse), which is why NCP and Congress are being blamed,” he said.