Mumbai

Never said ‘I will return’: Thackeray taunts Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Vidhan Bhavan for the Assembly session in Mumbai on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Vidhan Bhavan for the Assembly session in Mumbai on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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“I can assure this House and people of Maharashtra that I will not do anything at midnight.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday taunted former CM Devendra Fadnavis over the latter’s impassioned pre-poll “Me punha yein” (I will return) assertion which had evoked many social media memes.

Mr. Thackeray was speaking after Mr. Fadnavis, leader of state BJP legislature unit, was named the new Leader of Opposition in the House by Speaker Nana Patole.

 

Describing Mr. Fadnavis as a friend, Mr. Thackeray also said he does not view him as opposition leader.

“I never said I will come back, but I came in this House,” Mr. Thackeray said during his congratulatory speech.

“I can assure this House and people of Maharashtra that I will not do anything at midnight. I will be working for the interests of the people,” he said.

Mr. Thackeray’s swipe was apparently about the early morning hush hush swearing in of Mr. Fadnavis as CM on November 3, along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister, after night-long dramatic political developments in Mumbai and Delhi.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Vidhan Bhavan for the Assembly session in Mumbai on Sunday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Vidhan Bhavan for the Assembly session in Mumbai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Appealing to the House to minimise farmers’ woes, Mr. Thackeray said, “The aim of this government is not only to waive farmers’ loans but we also need to reduce his worries as well.”

“Those who were in opposition for several years are now with me to form the government whereas friends (BJP) have gone away to sit on opposition benches in this House,” he said.

The Shiv Sena chief said he has no hesitation in admitting his friendship with Devendra Fadnavis.

 

“I will not hesitate to admit that we have been good friends for a long time. Had you listened to us, I would have been sitting at home watching today’s developments on TV,” Mr. Thackeray said.

NCP minister Jayant Patil also targeted Mr. Fadnavis.

“He (Fadnavis) said he would return, but didn’t say where he will sit (in the House),” Mr. Patil said.

“Now he has returned and is occupying this top post (of Leader of Opposition) which is of the same level as CM post,” Mr. Patil said.

The NCP leader expressed confidence that Mr. Fadnavis won’t be part of any efforts to dislodge the Thackeray-led government of the Sena-NCP-Congress combine.

Fadnavis remarks

“The BJP got people’s mandate as ours is the single largest party. Our strike rate was 70 per cent in the October 21 Assembly polls, but political arithmetic prevailed over merit. Those who got around 40 per cent marks in the election have formed the government,” Mr. Fadnavis remarked.

Responding to the jibe on his “I will come back” affirmation, Mr. Fadnavis said, “I did say ‘I will come back’, but forgot to give you the time-table for it. But I can assure you one thing, you need to wait for some time.”

“I not only announced several projects in the last five years, but started work on them as well. You never know, I may come back to inaugurate them,” he said.

“My opposition to the government will be on some of the principles, and without any personal agenda,” he added.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the 288-member House.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:04:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/never-said-i-will-return-thackeray-taunts-fadnavis/article30129505.ece

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