NCP wanted to join BJP not just in 2019, but also 2 years ago: Devendra Fadnavis

Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 07:15 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Former chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis says when NCP boss changed his position last year, Ajit Pawar had revolted against the uncle

Sharad Pawar, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar
Sharad Pawar, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar

Former CM Devendra Fadnavis has revealed that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar had agreed to form a government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when pre-poll partner Shiv Sena backed out after the 2019 Assembly poll results.

He said since Pawar changed his position later to get the Congress-NCP-Sena together to make a three-party axis, his nephew Ajit Pawar chose to defy the uncle and joined hands with the BJP before their government fell in 80 hours.

He said the NCP was willing to go with the BJP even during his first term as the CM. "Two years ago, a situation had arisen in which the NCP was ready to join our government. The plan was to isolate the Congress. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted that Shiv Sena must be with us if the NCP was there in the government," he said adding that the BJP was never against the Sena, which was a ruling partner then.

"When we realised that the Sena was unwilling to join the government, we explored all options. One option came from the NCP which offered us its support. The offer came 'directly' from the NCP, not Ajit Pawar. All modalities were decided in a series of talks. I attended one such meeting. But when the NCP chief changed his position, we were cornered. We didn't do anything for two-three days. And then, Ajit Pawar sent us a feeler, saying that he would join us because he felt that only the NCP and BJP could give a stable government. Ajit Pawar did not agree with his party's boss' changed stance," said Fadnavis, in an interview to YouTube channel The Insider on Tuesday.

Fadnavis said Ajit Pawar had the adequate strength (the number of MLAs). "Our government could have stayed but the Supreme Court order went against us. We had everything in place to see things through," said the opposition leader. He said many assumption-based accounts have been written about the political events of October-November 2019. "I have also decided to author a book which will unfold what exactly happened then."

"With hindsight, we shouldn't have made the government, but then it was necessary for us to survive the then politics, especially when we were backstabbed. We chose to play a guerrilla-style," he said, in reference to the formation of his second government.

No. of hours BJP formed govt with NCP last year

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