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Maharashtra politics: Are efforts on to edge out Devendra Fadnavis?

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on November 06, 2019

Devendra Fadnavis (file photo)   -  PTI

“Entire BJP backs Devendra Fadnavis and the government will be formed under his leadership” insisted BJP state president Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday. He emphasised that BJP MLAs have elected Fadnavis as leader of the party in the State legislature and the central leadership has given its consent to the government formation under the leadership of Fadnavis.

Patil’s statement assumes significance against the backdrop of abuzz in Maharashtra's political circles that a section of BJP leaders wants to edge out Fadnavis from the post of Chief Minister. In fact, Fadnavis supporters in the BJP believe that the anti-Fadnavis group in the party is fuelling tension between the BJP and Shiv Sena.

Negotiations

Fadnavis is all alone trying to tap options of government formation. In fact, when he visited New Delhi for discussions with party leaders, no senior leader accompanied him. Even in 2014 Shiv Sena bargained hard to join the BJP led government. But that time Fadnavis was accompanied by strong BJP leaders, including party veteran Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawade and Pankaja Munde and others who were part of negotiations.

Today, these top three leaders, once considered as Fadnavis' competitors within the party are thrown out of the political arena. BJP denied the party nomination to Khadse and Tawade and Munde was defeated in elections. Khadse supporters have alleged that Fadnavis took every possible effort to rout his competitors within the party.

Interestingly, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has been completely isolated in the State’s political drama. Even during the election campaign, Gadkari was nearly invisible. BJP insiders say that with strong blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, Fadnavis is trying to single-handedly dominate the State BJP. A big chunk of the BJP in Maharashtra now wants Nitin Gadkari to take reins of State BJP.

Resentment against Fadnavis

Sensing the resentment against Fadnavis, Shiv Sena has stepped up attack against him. Party’s mouthpiece Saamna has been targeting the CM almost every day after State election results. Fadnavis and Gadkari, both come from Nagpur and are close to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat. Late Tuesday night Fadnavis visited Bhagwat and held a closed door meeting for more than an hour. According to reports RSS is keen that BJP and Sena continue their alliance and form the government.

Meanwhile the State BJP is putting every possible effort to show that the party stands united and is unanimous to work under Fadnavis' leadership.

Published on November 06, 2019

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