Fadnavis quits, blames Sena for Maharashtra deadlock

Fadnavis drove to Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai and submitted his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Maharashtra entered another phase of political uncertainty on Friday after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis resigned, blaming ally Shiv Sena for the impasse over government formation.

Fadnavis called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and put in his papers, a day before the expiry of the 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Koshyari asked him to continue as caretaker chief minister till alternative arrangements were made.

The Governor had a second round of consultations with state Advocate General Ashutosh Kukbhakoni; he will choose the best possible solution in the next few days. Since no one has staked claim to form the government, the state could well be headed for President's rule — the third time since its formation in 1960.

Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray continued to blame each other for the deadlock, even as the MahaYuti partners stared at limited options. Uddhav remained adamant on the 50-50 power formula and sharing of the CM's post, which the BJP leadership flatly rejected.

Fadnavis said while the BJP exercised restraint, Shiv Sena constantly attacked its leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We were hurt, stunned and disappointed by the statements against Modiji. No one from our side targeted Balasaheb (Thackeray) or Uddhavji.  It seems the Sena is not interested in continuing the alliance," Fadnavis said.

On the rotation of CM's post, he said he had spoken to BJP President Amit Shah and senior leader Nitin Gadkari and was told that no such assurance was given.

Fadnavis said the Sena will not be able to form the government. "The BJP is for an alliance, not to break it. We will form the government with our CM," he asserted.

Uddhav said all options were open for him. "I will fulfil the promise I made to Balasaheb... we will have a Shiv Sena CM," he reiterated, adding that he does not need BJP, Shah or Fadnavis for that. "They are trying to prove me a lair... I can't stand that," he said.

Uddhav claimed Fadnavis had requested him not to make the decision of sharing the CM's post public as it would create problems for Fadnavis within the party.

Neither Fadnavis nor Uddhav mentioned in their press conferences that the saffron alliance has ended. 

Meanwhile, BJP's troubleshooter and Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said, "I feel the BJP and Shiv Sena should come together to form the government."

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