New Delhi, Nov 27 : In the run up to Maharashtra government formation with the stage now set for the anointing of Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, BJP lawmaker Jagdambika Pal on Wednesday said the credit goes to NCP Chief Sharad Pawar whom he dubbed as “Bhishma Pitamah” – a highly honourable character of Hindu epic Mahabharata known for his pledge of celibacy.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh’s Doomariyaganj, said that government formation would have been “impossible” task for the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi troika of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress if Sharad Pawar was not there.
“Sharad Pawar played a role of Bhishma Pitamah. If he would not have been there, they (Sena-NCP-Congress) could not even think of forming government in Maharashtra,” Pal told IANS.
He said that the newly minted coalition of the three parties post post elections will last as long as “Sharad Pawar is there”.
Responding to question why BJP formed government in Maharashtra on Saturday staking claim of majority if it does not have the required number of MLAs, Pal said: “We did not go to form government. It was NCP’s Ajit Pawar who approached us (BJP).”
“We also did not invite NCP. Ajit Pawar had come with a letter signed by 54 NCP MLAs,” Pal said.
The BJP leader said his party had earlier declared that it would not form the government as it does not have a majority, it was Ajit Pawar’s move which led us to stake claim of forming government in the state with the swearing-in of the NCP leader as Deputy Chief Minister and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as CM, the most short-lived government in Maharashtra which survived just 80 hours since the oath taking on Saturday 8 a.m.
The pre-poll alliance between Sena and BJP fell apart on the back of issues like – seat-sharing arrangement and the chief ministerial position.
After the BJP refused to form government, owing to the lack of numbers, the Governor invited the Sena, the second-largest party to form the government but it also failed leading to imposition of President’s rule in the state.
Later Sena-NCP-Congress formed Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi to form government but Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit supported the BJP last Friday night assuring it of support of his party’s MLAs and Fadnavis government took oath on early Saturday.
In another unexpected turn in the state’s relentless post-poll political conundrum, CM Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar handed in their resignation letter to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday. Ajit Pawar’s resignation came around 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday followed by that of Fadnavis.
Now, Uddhav, 59, will be the first member of the Thackeray family to be Maharashtra Chief Minister after the newly minted troika on Tuesday night unanimously elected him as leader of Aghadi.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])