Is Devandra Fadnavis, a Brahmin CM, standing in the way of forming the next government by the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharshtra where the Marathas have mostly held the keys to political power? Fadnavis in Maharashtra and Manohar Lal Khattar, a non-Jat CM in Haryana, were the two ‘outsider’ CMs that the Modi-Shah duo imposed on the two states to break the traditional stranglehold. Khattar managed to hold on to power a second time in Haryana, but Fadnavis has come up against the Shiv Sena wall since the BJP failed to do well and returned with reduced numbers.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is understood to have advised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to distance himself from the government formation efforts by Shiv Sena and prepare to serve the people from the Opposition, according to sources.
The RSS’ strong sentiments were reportedly conveyed to Fadnavis who rushed to meet its Sansangchalak Mohan Bhagwat late on Tuesday in Nagpur.
Extending all courtesies, the RSS top brass expressed their pleasure to Fadnavis for remembering them in the time of crisis, according to a person in the know.
“Among other things, the RSS has gently conveyed to Fadnavis to refrain from entering a lost race, but continue to serve the people with renewed vigour from the opposition in the interests of political stability in the state,” the source said, requesting anonymity.
The development came hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party state president Chandrakant Patil announced in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon that a new government led by Fadnavis would be sworn-in at the earliest possible opportunity.
Patil also said that “the Shiv Sena has not yet submitted its proposal” on the government formation and said its doors were open 24 hours for the sulking ally for any discussions.
Further stung by the unilateral announcement, Sena MP Sanjay Raut dug his heels in deeper by countering that the “BJP must honour its commitment on power-sharing made before the last Lok Sabha electionsa and declared there is no question for any more discussions.
“The BJP’s tactics have resulted in a complete lack of trust, without mutual faith in each other. It is difficult to run a government. Fadnavis will be solely responsible for all the consequences,” a grim Sena leader Kishore Tiwari said.
Meanwhile, hectic efforts were on at various levels to form the government at the earliest hour before the tenure of the current Maharashtra Assembly expires on Friday.
Fadnavis air-dashed to New Delhi and met BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and later Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday, and several candidates were discussed for Chief Minister as possible options.
On Tuesday, he (Fadnavis) held meetings with top BJP leaders in Maharashtra and attended a state core committee meeting followed by a late-night meeting with the RSS top brass.
Simultaneously, Raut has continued his blistering attacks on the BJP at his daily media briefings, the RSS-leaning ‘Tarun Bharat’ hit back at him. On Wednesday he met Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, even as the Sena is making preparations for the grand swearing-in ceremony at Mahalaxmi Race Court this weekend.
On his part, Pawar, armed with a nod from the Congress, has held meetings with leaders of different alliance partners, Congress leaders, and back-channel talks with the Sena in an effort to finalise the government.
From the Congress side, Ahmed Patel met Gadkari in New Delhi on Wednesday though details are not known yet.
The Fadnavis camp has also made last-ditch efforts to win over the Sena with alluring offers — except giving up the post of CM — even as Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to discuss the situation in New Delhi on Wednesday. (IANS)