Mumbai: Categorically dismissing all speculation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday asserted that he will continue in his post “till Delhi beckons.”
“There are reports that I am shifting to New Delhi. I want to say that there is no such plan, at least now. I am remaining the Chief Minister,” Fadnavis said, addressing the concluding session of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party state executive meeting.
His clarification came amidst the buzz in political circles that he was likely to be given a role in national politics by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a Union Cabinet berth.
Fadnavis also rubbished reports that BJP state President Raosaheb Patil-Danve would be removed and made a Cabinet Minister in his government.
“There is no such thing. Under his leadership, the party has performed well in the local bodies elections and will continue to do so in future under his guidance,” he said.
The meeting came when the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is rocked by allegations of corruption, lately against two senior ministers Prakash Mehta (BJP) and Subhash Desai (Sena), and the spectre of drought looming large over many parts of the state with monsoon playing truant.
Recently, the state witnessed an unprecedented farmers strike followed by a loan waiver announcement by the government, yet farmers’ suicides have not stopped.
Attacking the Farmers Action Committee which had led agitations in various districts and threatened to prevent ministers from unfurling the tricolour, Fadnavis termed them as “traitors”.
On the farm leaders demand for a complete and unconditional loan waiver scheme, he said that this was akin to “anarchy”.
He took the opportunity to target the Opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party, asking why they failed to implement the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission.
“What did they do when they ruled the state for 15 years? I am ready to sit across the table with them. They can present their work in 15 years, will show them our work in two-and-half year,” Fadnavis challenged, adding that if his government fell short, he would bow his head and step down.
Later, Congress state spokesperson Sachin Sawant strongly condemned the “insulting” language used by Fadnavis against the farmers and said this showed the culture of the ruling BJP.