Talks with Sena on track; confident of forming alliance: CM Devendra Fadnavis

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Mumbai, Nov 2: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said talks with Shiv Sena were on track and he was confident of forming an alliance with the former partner for a strong government.

"Talks with Shiv Sena are on and they are on track. I am confident that we will form an alliance with Shiv Sena and it will be a strong government," he said.

He said BJP has neither accepted nor rejected the unilateral decision of NCP to abstain from the crucial trust vote on November 12.

"They have said they will abstain during the trust vote," he said. The Chief Minister also said none of his government's decisions would be influenced by anyone's pressure. "We are not here to save our government. There will be no compromise on basic issues," he told NDTV.

Fadnavis said there would be zero tolerance on the issue of corruption and that the government will not target any individual for political vendetta. The 44-year-old Chief Minister said he was happy but not overwhelmed with the new responsibility.

"It is a big responsibility. Maharashtra is the second biggest state and I feel the pressure of aspirations of 11.20 crore people," he said.

Fadnavis said his priority was to restore governance in the state as there has been a paralysis in decision-making and policy implementation.

"I want to run an efficient and transparent government. I may be soft spoken but a ruthless administrator," he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told him not to run the government to save it.

"Run the government and the people will save it even if you lose, people will re-elect you," Fadnavis quoted the Prime Minister as saying. 

To a question as to why talks with Sena were taking such a long time, Fadnavis said there had been a lot of bitterness during campaigning.

They now want to clarify things before formalising and consolidating the alliance, he said. He denied that BJP has asked for an apology from Sena for writing against the Prime Minister.

"We have not sought any apology...but by writing against Modi, the person who wrote it has belittled himself, not the Prime Minister. Uddhav (Thackeray) also said he did not support the comments. Modiji never reacted but what was written, it was in bad taste," he said.

Fadnavis said if the alliance does not materialise with Shiv Sena, his party's best wishes will always be there with the former ally.

After the death of an MLA, BJP's strength in the 288-member Assembly has come down to 121, but it has claimed support of all seven Independents and six others from smaller parties.

NCP with 41 MLAs has declared outside support to the BJP government and said it will abstain from voting on the trust motion if the 63-member Shiv Sena was to sit in the opposition, helping it sail through.

PTI

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