“Eknath Shinde Government Not Of ‘Gaddars’, But…”: Devendra Fadnavis


The Shiv Sena split after Eknath Shinde pulled off a coup last June.


Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the Eknath Shinde-BJP government was legitimate and will remain in power, remarks viewed as a swipe at the Uddhav Thacekray-led Shiv Sena faction which has been predicting its collapse.

He said the government, which came to power in June 2022, was formed as per Constitutional norms and rules.

Addressing the state BJP executive in Nashik city in north Maharashtra, Mr Fadnavis said he was confident that the Supreme Court will rule in “our” favour, a reference to the disqualification plea filed by the Shiv Sena (UBT) faction against 16 MLAs of the Eknath Shinde-led group.

Without naming the Uddhav Thackeray faction, the senior BJP leader refuted the criticism that the government was illegal and that many members (of Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) will be disqualified (by the top court).

“This message is being spread so that the remaining 10-15 MLAs (in the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena camp) don’t defect. Whatever we have done is as per the rules and adhering to the Constitution. Our government is not of ‘gaddars’ (traitors) but of ‘khuddars’ (self-respecting people),” Mr Fadnavis said.

He said that Maha Vikas Aghadi’s rule (from November 2019 to June 2022) was marked by corruption and that no efforts were made for the development of the state.

“There was not a single development project,” he said.

He said the Shinde-led government will not only complete its term but will be re-elected with a huge majority (in the 2024 Assembly elections).

Notably, Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Aaditya Thackeray and Sanjay Raut have been saying the state government will not last long.

Recently, former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who headed the erstwhile MVA government, had said a decision by the Supreme Court on the disqualification of the rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena should come first before the Election Commission rules on the “real” Shiv Sena.

He had said the Supreme Court will start hearing the matter related to the disqualification of rebel MLAs daily starting February 14.

“We are playing a Twenty-20 match of service to the people while the MVA was indulging in a T-20 match of corruption,” Mr Fadnavis alleged.

The Shiv Sena split after Mr Shinde pulled off a coup last June, triggering the collapse of the MVA government- an alliance of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress. Mr Shinde then joined hands with the BJP to become the chief minister.

Mr Fadnavis reiterated the MVA dispensation wanted to put him in jail “but the police officer who was assigned this task is in jail now”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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