Eknath Shinde Thursday rubbished the possibility of his resignation as Maharashtra Chief Minister and termed it a rumour being spread by the Opposition.
“It is all rumours… The party (NCP) should introspect about what is happening in their party instead of speaking about others’ matter. Since the first day of the formation of our government they have been saying the government will collapse, but day by day our government is getting stronger. Now we have over 200 MLAs in the government. Pawar (Ajit Pawar) has expressed confidence in PM Modi and has accepted that there is development in the state and he has also shared our thoughts on having a double-engine government in the state,” Shinde said in Mumbai.
He added that they have the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Industries Minister and Shiv Sena leader Uday Samant also asserted on Thursday that the rumours of CM Shinde stepping down are baseless.
“Things that did not happen are being thrown open for speculations to spread negativity. Eknath Shinde is an able leader and works from pillar to post all over Maharashtra. Even Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule reiterated that these are theories planted by some people and hold no merit,” Samant said.
Samant added that Wednesday’s meeting was conducted with all the Shiv Sena leaders —MLAs and MPs — to take stock of the party and discuss the measures to be taken to strengthen the party on a foundation level and build a stronger core. “Also, what all needs to be done for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha sessions were discussed at the meeting. All members who follow the ideals and vision of Balasaheb were present in the meeting,” Samant said.
Samant refuted the allegations of some of his MLAs joining Sena UBT led by Uddhav Thackeray. “Claiming and happening are two different things. There is no question of returning since we already have an able leadership of Eknath Shinde. On the contrary, six of their MLAs out of 13 are in touch with me and expressed interest. They are just trying to boost the morale of whatever is left of the party,” he said.
Samant added that the Shiv Sena has absolved itself of the ‘khokhe’ and ‘gaddar’ allegations levelled by Sena UBT, courtesy to the Ajit Pawar rebellion. “They were attacking on a personal level and spewing venom at us. Why did they suddenly stop now? At least, they should learn from Sharad Pawar who refrained from calling ugly names and maintained decency. The rebellion of Ajit Pawar has put a full stop to those allegations. He aligns with the motto of development and needs his party to also be a part of Modi’s vision, which motivated him to join the Mahayuti,” he said.
He also said that some people are trying to create a rift between the alliance. “They will not succeed in breaking us; those trying are misunderstood. The entry of rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar has strengthened our Mahayuti. He has also praised PM Modi’s model of development,” Samant added.
Samant also denied rumours of Shiv Sena leaders being restless and unhappy after the induction of NCP in the Mahayuti. “None of our ministers are dejected.We trust Eknath Shinde and his leadership. He will do due justice and ensure nobody is hurt or misunderstood. Jumping the gun on such an issue is not good. Some are just trying to keep their party going at the cost of naming and framing us.”