Fadnavis may be replaced, hints Sena

Fadnavis may be replaced, hints Sena

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. 

As protests demanding reservations for the Maratha community grew violent on Wednesday, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that there were talks within the BJP leadership of replacing Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. 

In fact, Fadnavis is a Brahmin and the Maratha community – that constitutes nearly 35% of the state’s population — has given the maximum Chief Minister.

The only other chief minister from the Brahmin community was Dr Manohar Joshi – who was replaced by Narayan Rane (who was then with Shiv Sena) before the 1999 polls.

"…(BJP president) Amit Shah and (prime minister) Narendra Modi will take the final call on changing the leadership in the state. But, talks of changing the chief minister is underway within the BJP," said Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, who is a close aide of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

The BJP, however, rejected the allegations.

"It is wrong to say that….in fact, the chief minister is constantly working hard to ensure that the Maratha community gets reservation," said Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil. 

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari described Raut’s statement as "rumour mongering".