Want to quit as Dy CM: Fadnavis after BJP tally falls from 23 to 9

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addresses a press conference at BJP headquarter, in Mumbai, Wednesday, June 5, 2024.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addresses a press conference at BJP headquarter, in Mumbai, Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Mumbai | After the BJP’s Lok Sabha tally came down from 23 to 9 in Maharashtra, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday offered to quit the post so that he could “work full time on party work” ahead of assembly elections.

“I take the responsibility for the result in Maharashtra. I am requesting the party leadership to relieve me from the responsibility in the government so that I can work full time for the party in upcoming assembly elections,” Fadnavis told reporters here.

The assembly elections in the state are scheduled in less than six months from now.

“The entire responsibility for this result is mine. I agree that I was lacking somewhere in all this and am going to make all efforts to overcome this shortcoming,” he told a press conference after a review meeting on Lok Sabha results.

The meeting, convened a day after the election results were announced, was attended by top BJP leaders, including state unit chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule. The primary agenda was to analyse the party's performance and discuss future strategies.

“I take full responsibility for the setback the BJP suffered in Maharashtra. Now I want to focus on assembly elections and that is why I am going to request the BJP’s top leadership to relieve me from my responsibility in the government and give me a chance to work full time in the party,” Fadnavis said.

“I am going to meet the senior BJP leaders soon and do whatever they ask me to,” he said.

“Farmers' issues played a dominant role in some seats. Also, the false propaganda that the Constitution would be altered impacted some voters,” Fadnavis said.

He said coordination issues exist with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of NCP.

When asked to respond later on the remarks by Fadnavis, Shinde said that they had fought elections collectively and the defeat was a collective responsibility.

“The responsibility for the defeat is of all three parties, we worked together,” Shinde said.

The Congress said Fadnavis' offer to resign following the setback suffered by the BJP and allies is "drama", and it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who should quit.

Fadnavis is running an "unconstitutional government" and had publicly stated that he returned to power by breaking up two parties, said state Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe.

In Maharashtra, the Mahayuti alliance – comprising BJP, Shiv Sena (led by Eknath Shinde) and NCP (led by Ajit Pawar ) got 17 Lok Sabha seats while the Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising Congress, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) secured 30 seats of the total 48 seats.

The Congress won 13 seats, Shiv Sena (UBT) got nine seats and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) won eight seats.

The BJP won nine seats, Shiv Sena won seven seats and NCP won just one seat, taking the Mahayuti tally to 17 seats.

Meanwhile, Shinde told reporters in New Delhi that Modi had won a majority in the Lok Sabha elections and the NDA will form the next government under his leadership.

The Shinde-led Shiv Sena won seven seats in the Lok Sabha and is seen as a crucial ally of the BJP at the centre.

"I have not come here to demand anything. I have come here to support Modi ji," the Maharashtra CM said to questions on portfolios the Shiv Sena would seek in the new Union Cabinet.

Will speak to Devendra Fadnavis about his resignation offer: Maharashtra CM

New Delhi | Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said he will speak with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, who has offered to resign from the post following the BJP's electoral reverses in the state.

Interacting with reporters here, Shinde said electoral defeat was a collective responsibility as the three parties -- BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP -- had contested the Lok Sabha elections as an alliance.

The BJP managed to win nine Lok Sabha seats in the state, as against 22 won in the 2019 elections, while the Shinde-led Shiv Sena emerged victorious on seven seats and Ajit Pawar-led NCP could win one seat. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition had won 41 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra.

"I will speak to Devendraji soon," Shinde told reporters here when asked about Fadnavis' offer to resign as deputy chief minister and focus on rebuilding the party for the assembly elections later this year.

He said the reasons for the defeat of the MahaYuti will be reviewed.

"We have worked together in the past and we will keep on working in the future. Failures must not discourage us," said Shinde, who ousted Uddhav Thackeray from the Shiv Sena, with the support of most of the party MLAs and MPs in 2022.

Thackeray's faction of the Shiv Sena won nine seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

"If you look at the vote share, Mahayuti got more than two lakh votes in Mumbai," Shinde said.

He said the ruling coalition of BJP-Shiv Sena and NCP collectively failed to counter the opposition's misleading claims during the election campaign. "The false narrative that the constitution will be changed hurt us," he said.

Shinde said the opposition was chanting "Modi hatao" (remove Modi), but the voters kept them away from power.

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