The BJP leader’s statement comes a year after his ‘morning coup’ with Ajit Pawar stunned Maharashtra
A year after his ‘morning coup’ with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar stunned Maharashtra, Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday pointedly remarked that his next swearing-in ceremony would take place at the proper time and not early morning.
Speaking in Aurangabad, Mr. Fadnavis took pot-shots at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the ruling tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress.
Ridiculing his estranged erstwhile ally’s [Mr. Thackeray’s] comments that the MVA coalition would go on functioning for another 20 years, the BJP leader dismissed them as “pipe dreams.”
“He [Mr. Thackeray] may continue living in a fantasy world, but the Chief Minister knows fully well that the people of the State have not given him or his party a mandate. This MVA government is an illegitimate and a dishonest one. While I do not know how long it will last, it will not be appropriate to comment on its downfall now,” he said.
In a suggestive statement, Mr. Fadnavis said he would give Maharashtra another government the day the ruling MVA government fell.
“However, this time, the oath-taking ceremony will not take place in the morning but at the proper time,” he said.
Last year, soon after the conclusion of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, Mr. Ajit Pawar had startled the State with his intra-party ‘rebellion’ when he staged a coup on the morning of November 23 and was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister, with Mr. Fadnavis taking oath as Chief Minister.
After NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s iron hand had prevailed and the party failed to split despite his nephew’s (Mr. Ajit Pawar’s) temporary defection, the latter had resigned as Deputy Chief Minister in less than 80 hours.
However, Mr. Ajit Pawar was sworn in again as Deputy Chief Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA which came into being just a few days later.
In the last few days after the Deepavali festivities, a number of senior Maharashtra BJP leaders, including Pravin Darekar, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, and Narayan Rane have hinted at ‘regime change’ in the State.
Karachi bakery issue
Meanwhile, Mr. Fadnavis has slammed the Shiv Sena over the Karachi bakery issue, which erupted after a local Sena leader was seen warning the owner of Karachi Sweets in Mumbai’s Bandra West area to remove the word ‘Karachi’ from the shop’s name because of its ‘Pakistani’ connotation.
“We believe in ‘Akhand Bharat’ [undivided India]. We also believe that Karachi will be a part of India one day,” reiterated Mr. Fadnavis.
In riposte to Mr. Fadnavis, Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut quipped: “First, the BJP should try to bring the part of Kashmir that is occupied by Pakistan into India … we can go to Karachi later.”
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