Devendra Fadnavis at CNN-News18 Town Hall

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Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray is responsible for the recent political turmoil in the state and it is his style of working that led to the split in the Shiv Sena, Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said at the CNN-News18 Town Hall on Saturday. Speaking at the event, Fadnavis also categorically stated that his focus remains on Maharashtra and not Delhi.

“Only Uddhav Thackeray is responsible for the political debacle and crisis in Maharashtra. His working style is responsible for the Shiva Sena split. Around 30-40 MLAs left the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and Uddhav Thackeray had no idea about,” Fadnavis said.

Maharashtra underwent a sea change in power in June-July with Sena leader Eknath Shinde launching a rebellion against Thackerays’ leadership. Majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Sena-NCP-Congress government led by Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde, with BJP support, was sworn in as CM on June 30, a day after Uddhav Thackeray quit the post.

The events marked the BJP’s return to power in the state after the 2019 falling out with long-time ally Shiv Sena.

“Uddhav Thackeray made a mockery of the mandate. When we fought in alliance, at every gathering, PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah said the CM will be from the BJP. Uddhav ji was also on stage and clapped. But when aspirations exceed capabilities, people make decisions,” Fadnavis said.

He, however, added that he can “talk to Uddhav Thackeray even now”, but it may be a non-political conversation. “All things should not be viewed from political angle only.”

The former chief minister also trashed rumours of conspiracy at being given the deputy CM’s post. “My focus is on Maharashtra, not Delhi… I believe only the Opposition tried to cut me to size. My party and leaders were behind me. It’s all conspiracy theory,” he said.

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