Mumbai, Mar 30 (IANS): The Nationalist Congress Party on Wednesday said that a Shiv Sena Minister's statement has confirmed Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' public claim that he took "revenge" by toppling the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in June 2022.
NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said Fadnavis had said a few weeks ago how he had taken "revenge" and brought down the MVA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray nine months ago.
"Now, Health Minister Tanaji Sawant has also confirmed that a whopping 150 meetings have been held since 2019 between Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde, plotting to bring down the MVA," he said.
Among other things, Sawant claimed on Tuesday in Dharashiv that he was enraged as Thackeray did not give him a Cabinet post in 2019 and initiated the first rebellion on January 3, 2020 at the "orders" of Fadnavis.
He also accused Thackeray of "rejecting" the peoples' mandate and tying up with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party instead of allying with the BJP.
Sawant revealed how, over the next couple of years, some 100-150 meetings were held by Fadnavis-Shinde, while he went around meeting MLAs from all over the state to make them change their loyalties.
Tapase said these shocking revelations make it clear that when the MVA government's back was turned for battling the Covid-19 pandemic and saving peoples' lives, "instead of offering any help, the entire BJP was totally focussing on toppling the Thackeray government".
"We were duty bound to protect the lives of millions with the (then) CM Thackeray, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Health Minister Rajesh Tope and others committed to the cause. The MVA government's success against Corona won accolades from all over the world. But little did we realise that some individuals with personal agenda were contemplating a political coup even during the pandemic," said Tapase sharply.
Stating that since the BJP can never vanquish the MVA in a straight electoral contest, it conspired with Shinde to engineer a spilt in the (original) Shiv Sena with the sole intention of bringing down the Thackeray regime, and later he (Shinde) became the CM.
The MVA never assumed that they (Shinde-Fadnavis) could be "so power hungry" and used even the crisis of the pandemic period to carry out defections of MLAs as revealed by Sawant, said Tapase.