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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 17 February 2020 3.36 AM IST

Glad my Chanakya image broke after Maharashtra elections: Amit Shah

amit-shah

NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after the BJP missed out on forming a government in Maharashtra, a state where it swept the polls, Union Home Minister and party chief Amit Shah said the BJP didn't fail in the western state.

Speaking with India Today News Director Rahul Kanwal at Agenda AajTak, Amit Shah said, "We didn't fail in Maharashtra, we got 105 seats, our alliance got a full majority -- we got 20 seats more than needed."

However, the BJP was not able to form a government in Maharashtra as alliance partner Shiv Sena remained adamant on equal sharing of the chief ministerial post -- a demand the BJP did not relent to. Eventually, the Shiv Sena along with Congress and NCP formed the government in the state after much political drama.

When asked if the chain of events in Maharashtra had damaged Amit Shah’s image as the modern-day Chanakya (political expert), the BJP chief said that he was glad the perception was now broken.

"It's a good thing this image broke. The problem started with Shiv Sena's chief ministerial aspirations. There was no problem – we (BJP) had 105 seats, they (Shiv Sena) had 56. We were supposed to go to the Governor. A BJP CM was to be appointed. But it was only when Sharad Pawar dropped kernels, the Shiv Sena lapped them up," he said.

Amit Shah maintained that the Shiv Sena was never promised CMship, "We had always said the CM will be from BJP -- in every rally, in countless press meets."

The BJP chief's assessment of the Maharashtra elections was -- "Our ally ran away, so we couldn't form the government. That's it!"

When asked if the BJP had not paid heed to alliance management post a resounding victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah said that if the Shiv Sena had demanded the CM post before the elections, the BJP would have devised a formula.

"If they would have negotiated with us before polls, we'd have stepped in their direction. They should have told us about Uddhav's oath (electing a Sena CM one day) to Balasaheb before the polls," he said.

Amit Shah added that the Sena had benefitted from Narendra Modi's popularity but later walked out of the alliance. "There isn't a single constituency where a Shiv Sena candidate didn't benefit from Modi Ji's popularity! But it's okay even this is a lesson for us," he said.

He said the BJP is used to sitting in the opposition.

To the question, if the political machinations in Maharashtra had perturbed him, Amit Shah said, "I don't get irritated. Every party has the right to take their decisions; they can't impose theirs on us."

Amit Shah said he had no knowledge of what transpired when PM Modi met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in November, he said he will not ask the prime minister what discussions were held in the meeting.

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