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‘Ajit Pawar approached us, said NCP chief knew about it’: Devendra Fadnavis

Ajit Pawar came to us saying his entire party was ready to join hands with the BJP to form the government, said Devendra Fadnavis.

Updated: Dec 08, 2019 14:13:35

By Surendra Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai

In an interview to Marathi news channel Zee 24 Taas, Fadnavis said that Ajit Pawar told him that most NCP MLAs wanted to go with the BJP as their alliance with the Congress was not possible. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar came to them “on his own” to join hands to form the government and that he had given them the impression that NCP chief Sharad Pawar was in the loop about the move. Fadnavis also said that the details about the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sharad Pawar were shared “conveniently” by the latter, but the remaining information about the same will be revealed at the appropriate time.

In an interview to Marathi news channel Zee 24 Taas, Fadnavis said that Ajit Pawar told him that most NCP MLAs wanted to go with the BJP as their alliance with the Congress was not possible. “We did not try to poach MLAs or split any party for around a month after the results were announced until Ajit Pawar approached us. About a couple of days ahead of the swearing-in on November 23, Ajit Pawar came to us saying his entire party was ready to join hands with the BJP to form the government. He even made a few party MLAs to speak to me. He told us that Sharad Pawar was aware of the move. We knew it was a gamble, but a gamble is inevitable in politics, though it failed in this case,” he said.

Fadnavis was sworn-in as the chief minister and Ajit Pawar the deputy chief minister on November 23, after the latter allegedly handed over a letter of support of 54 NCP MLAs to form the government. Both resigned within three days after they realised that the NCP MLAs were not with them as party president Sharad Pawar ensured that none of his legislators went with his nephew. He also compelled Ajit Pawar to return to the party.

In a recent interview, Sharad Pawar had said that Narendra Modi gave an “offer” to his party to “work” with them, during their meeting on November 20, but he refused. “Whatever [Sharad] Pawar told the media was just a part of the conversation. He has hid half of the conservation between them. It would not be proper for me to disclose the details of the conversation between them, though I know it. However, it would be known to the public at the right time. I will speak about that at an appropriate time,” he said.



The former chief minister also said that he was saddened that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not take his calls and cut off the communication after the election results were announced, despite having shared a healthy relationship for the past five years.

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