Mumbai: Apparently affording a breather to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday categorically denied any plans of his Bharatiya Janata Party to topple the six-month old Maharashtra government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
However, he also warned that the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance regime would “collapse” on its own, owing to their internal contradictions.
“We are not interested in toppling the government. Hamara kaam bhagaana nahin hai, par jagaana hai,” Fadnavis asserted.
He accused the MVA partners of indulging in “cover fire” tactics to hide their own failures in handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the state by spreading rumours like that the BJP is trying to bring down the government, or BJP wants President rule in the state.
He further said that what the state requires in this critical time is “assertive leadership” and tough decision making which is apparently lacking, but the BJP is here to play the role of “a constructive opposition” by speaking up for the people of the state.
On the MVA allies’ charge that the BJP leaders keep rushing to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari frequently, Fadnavis vehemently defended himself.
“The government functions under the name of the Governor. The Chief Minister and Cabinet play an advisory role, those who read the Constitution will be aware of this. It’s my duty and my right to approach the Governor’s office,” he said.
Detailing the help from the Centre to the state for the Covid-19 crisis in the past three months, Fadnavis said that so far Maharashtra has been given Rs 28,104 crore under various heads like foodgrains, schemes for the farmers, for shifting migrant labourers, arranging railway trains, Ujjwala Gas Scheme, State Disaster Relief Force, health schemes, devolution of taxes, etc.
Besides, he said the government could borrow or raise Rs 271,500 crore more as per the Centre’s recently announced packages.
However, NCP Spokesperson and Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik dismissed Fadnavis’ suggestions saying that those (BJP) who pushed Maharashtra debt trap in their five years rule should not advise this government on picking up more loans from the market.
Congress state President and Revenue Balasaheb Thorat also accused the BJP of “leaving no stone unturned” to dislodge the MVA, but said that the government was intact. “There is no cause for worry. They (BJP) are only greedy for power.”A
“The Opposition has yet to discover a vaccine for Corona and a dose to bring down the Uddhav Thackeray government. But efforts are on,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
He also warned that “any attempt to destabilise the state could boomerang” and advised the Opposition to go into “quarantine”.
Stepping into the debate, NCP President Sharad Pawar said this evening that there is no threat to the state government.
“Fadnavis is becoming impatient. There is no threat to the Maharashtra government. All MLAs are with us… any attempt to break them at this time will invite public wrath,” he told a private TV channel.
Countering Fadnavis on the Covid situation, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that in the BJP-ruled Gujarat, Ahmedabad alone has “40 lakh Covid-19 patients” and the Gujarat High Court has also passed severe comments on the situation there.
Fadnavis’ media-conference came a day after Pawar met the Governor at Raj Bhavan, then drove down to meet Thackeray at his Bandra home, and BJP leader Narayan Rane demanded President rule in the state – all combining to ignite political speculation.