NEW DELHI: With Uddhav Thackeray quitting as Maharashtra chief minister, BJP is expected to wrap up the business of formation of a coalition government in the state with the rebel Shiv Sena faction shortly. Sources said Union home minister Amit Shah worked out the details of government formation with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis who looks set to return as CM for the second time.

Sources said in the 90-minute meeting, Shah, confident of the resilience of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray group), even discussed the nitty-gritty of the power-sharing arrangement with Fadnavis when he met him on Tuesday. Shah then referred Fadnavis to BJP chief J P Nadda for formal clearance of government formation. This is perhaps the first instance when a government has fallen on the issue of Hindutva and a new dispensation is set to take over on the same plank.

For BJP, the resignation marks a “sweet revenge” for the betrayal it accused Uddhav Thackeray of committing in 2020 when he walked out of the saffron alliance which scored an outright victory, ostensibly facilitated by PM Narendra Modi’s popularity.

Uddhav justified his exit from the saffron alliance saying that Shah had made a commitment to make him the CM in the event of the Hindutva alliance’s victory. Shah refrained from joining the issue but sources close to him had dubbed Thackeray’s claim as a pure lie.

With the stage set for Fadnavis to take over as Maharashtra CM for the second time, political developments in the state are also seen as a huge moral victory for BJP, which was denied to form the government despite winning the state polls in alliance with Shiv Sena with a comprehensive majority in October, 2019.

Sources said BJP showed its inclination to join hands with Shinde only after it was confirmed that the rebel group had 2/3rd strength and that they will pass the legal hurdles in case anti-defection law was used against them.

“Once the Shinde faction reached Guwahati, the BJP leadership urged them to rethink and take a call with full conviction that they will not change their stance. They were offered chartered flights to return to Mumbai or Surat. However, the group remained united and agreed to bear with a long fight in case of legal issues,” a leader said.

“Once the Shinde faction reached Guwahati, the BJP leadership urged them to rethink and take a call with full conviction that they will not change their stance. They were offered chartered flights to return to Mumbai or Surat. However, the group remained united and agreed to bear with a long fight in case of legal issues,” a leader said.

Taking swipe at Uddhav Thackeray, the BJP leader said, “Balasaheb Thackeray was a man who could control governments, despite not being in power. On the other hand, his son couldn’t even control his party, despite being in power. What a fall from grace!” He also took a dig at NCP chief saying one should spare a thought for Sharad Pawar. “His nephew revolted under his nose, diminishing his stature as a leader, his two top aides are in jail for corruption and worse, he had to concede the CM’s chair to Sena. All this just to stop BJP, still, the MVA collapsed!”

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