Arvind Sawant resigns from Modi govt, says 'BJP's betrayal hurt Thackeray pride'
Mumbai, Nov 11: Arvind Sawant, the lone Shiv Sena minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi cabinet, has resigned from his post of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises minister. His decision has come hours after BJP refused to form the government in Maharashtra and the governor invited Shiv Sena to do so.
Hitting back at BJP on accusations of betraying alliance, Sawant said, "Where was their [BJP's] ideology when they were forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar?"
Sawant had earlier on Monday tweeted that he would resign as minister, paving the way for his party to seek the support of Sharad Pawar's NCP and the Congress and form the government in Maharashtra.
At a press conference, Sawant said,''Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Sena had sealed the 50:50 pact with the BJP. It was also decided that when the government will be formed in Maharashtra, everything will be shared, including the chief minister's post. The BJP went back on its promise. Uddhav Thackeray is hurt by the BJP's betrayal. ''
''BJP went back from their pre election promises. It would not have been morally right for me to continue in the Centre, so I have resigned as Union Minister,'' he said.
The BJP, which is the single largest party in the state with 105 seats, on Sunday decided against staking claim to form government for want of adequate numbers.
The governor then invited the second largest party Shiv Sena, which has been at loggerheads with the BJP over sharing the chief minister's post. The Shiv Sena won 56 seats in the October 21 state polls, while the NCP and Congress bagged 54 and 44 seats, respectively.
While the Shiv Sena has been making efforts to reach out to the NCP and the Congress, the Sharad Pawar-led party on Sunday said the Sena will have to walk out of the NDA first. Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant, the lone party minister in the Modi Cabinet, on Monday announced his decision to quit the NDA government.