Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the prime minister’s post has been booked for the next two general elections.
Fadnavis was replying to a question asked by actor Riteish Deshmukh during an award ceremony here. When Deshmukh asked who from Maharashtra, including Sharad Pawar and Nitin Gadkari, can become the prime minister, Fadnavis said, “Let me tell you, this question does not arise, because the post for prime minister has already been booked… Not only for this year’s election, but also for the 2024 polls.”
“Though, I would be more than happy if someone from Maharashtra becomes the prime minister after that,” he added. To another query that which party, the Shiv Sena or the BJP, will stake claim for the chief minister’s and deputy chief minister’s post if both get equal number of seats in this year’s Maharashtra assembly elections, Fadnavis said few things need to remain secret.
“Everything cannot be disclosed at this moment,” he added. He also dismissed reports that BJP workers and leaders were not happy with the alliance as the party would contest only 144 seats in the 288-member House. “Forging an alliance with our old ally Shiv Sena was necessary and this is the political reality in the present situation when all non-natural allies are ganging up to fight against us. Our workers understand this very well and support the alliance,” he said.
Appealing to forget the bitterness, Fadnavis said, “Jo beet gai so baat gai’ (Let bygone be bygone). To another query that what cemented the alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, Fadnavis said in a lighter vein, “When we arrived at ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s) home, Uddhav’s better half served us few homemade dishes that were so delightful that we forgot everything and sealed the deal.”
Overcoming their strained ties and grandiose declarations of going solo, the BJP and the Shiv Sena on Monday had announced a seat-sharing pact for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. BJP president Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had jointly announced that the BJP will contest 25 seats and Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The two parties will contest an equal number of seats, after allotting allies their due share of segments, in polls for the 288-member state Assembly, due this year.