MUMBAI: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse has publicly accepted that the BJP decided to snap ties with its over two-decade-old alliance partner Shiv Sena a fortnight before the Assembly polls in October last year only after he assured the central leadership that the party can come to power on its own.
Mr Khadse made the disclosure at a public rally at his home turf Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra over the weekend.
“Once Modi told me ‘Khadseji, you say that the (BJP) government can come (to power in Maharashtra). I said yes, it can come (to power). He said will it come under our own steam? I said yes,” Mr Khadse said.
“He (Modi) said it is your responsibility to tell Shiv Sena that the alliance has broken. Not a single person from amongst us (senior BJP leaders in Maharashtra) was ready to come forward (to inform the decision to Shiv Sena).
“When there were three-four meetings in Delhi on this issue, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi, myself, Nitin Gadkari and Devendra (Fadnavis) decided to take the decision (to break the alliance), there was nobody on my side,” Mr Khadse said.
“Someone said only 15 days are left for Election Day. What if something else happens, what if the Congres-NCP government wins again. I said come what may, let us contest the Assembly polls under our own steam,” Mr Khadse said.
After parting ways before the polls, the Shiv Sena later agreed to join the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in the state.
Ten Sena MLAs were sworn in as ministers in the oath-taking ceremony held on December 5.