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In Fadnavis’ ‘new government’ comment, a possible message to Sena

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis speaks to media in New Delhi on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was “completely assured” about the political situation in Maharashtra and a new government would soon be formed in the state. The chief minister’s comment came after meeting Home Minister and BJP boss Amit Shah at his North Block office in the national capital.

“I or anyone from BJP will not give any reaction on the ongoing speculation and comments being made about government formation in Maharashtra. We are completely assured and a new government will be formed in the state,” Fadnavis told reporters after his 40-minute meeting with Shah.

In Maharashtra’s political circles, the meeting was seen as an occasion for Fadnavis to get the BJP master strategist’s nod to the contours of an offer that the BJP could work on with its troublesome ally Shiv Sena.

But the chief minister’s choice of words – he skipped any reference to the Maharashtra’s mahayuti, or grand alliance – when he spoke about the new government was a departure from his standard line in the past.

Political analyst Surendra Jondhale said the change in Fadnavis’ choice of words held a message. “The change in Fadnavis’ lexicon is an indication that he is irked with Sena. It is a subtle signal to the ally to not stretch the tussle beyond a point of no return,” he said.

Surendra Jondhale said the chief minister had so far given a long rope to the Sena.

“His meeting with party chief Shah was most likely to work out new power sharing proposal for the Sena and decide a strategy if the Sena continues to play hard ball,” he added.

In all his comments about government formation, Fadnavis had made it a point to stress that people had given the mandate to the saffron alliance and the next government in Maharashtra would be of ‘Mahayuti’ or the grand alliance of BJP-Sena and other smaller parties.

For example, when Fadnavis spoke about the next government last Wednesday, he stressed: ”There is no need for any doubts or speculation. The next government will be of mahayuti only. We will form the government soon”.

When he was elected leader of the BJP legislature party a day earlier, he underscored that the BJP and Sena would form the next government together.

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