Never Say Never: Once Bitter Rivals Fadnavis Picks Junior Pawar As His Deputy
Netizens revive Devendra Fadnavis and the BJP's disparaging tweets about NCP's Ajit Pawar as the two pull off a coup in Maharashtra.
'Never say never' - Twitter users reminded Devendra Fadnavis of the old adage on Saturday digging up a 2014 tweet where Fadnavis used 'never' thrice to rule out any future alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The tweet gained new currency after the Fadnavis, who was all but out of the running for the chief minister's post, clawed his way back, with the help of his once sworn rival Ajit Pawar of the NCP, as Deputy CM.
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While Fadnavis and junior Pawar (Ajit) appear to have buried the axe, it did not take long for the tweet to resurface.
Hours after the announcement, many old and recent tweets by Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the NCP, started going viral.
Twitter users rummaged through old Tweets to remind Pawar and Fadnavis, that until Friday night, they disliked each other's policies and politics.
With NCP having already pledged support to a Shiv Sena-led alliance along with the Congress, many speculated whether Ajit Pawar had jumped ship with the secret blessings of his uncle and party chief - Sharad Pawar.
But the NCP supremo tweeted that his nephew had acted on his own to support the BJP.
"We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his," Pawar wrote.
A government formed out of a BJP-NCP alliance was a scenario not foretold by any political expert.
Given that, Modi, Fadnavis and many senior BJP leaders had till the days leading up to the October 21 elections criticised the NCP, digging up scams and making allegations of corruption against NCP leaders.
These statements were made in election rallies by Fadnavis and Modi and reiterated in tweets from their official handles.
In 2014, PM Modi had called the NCP 'naturally corrupt'.
Days before polling, on October 16, 2019, Modi, at a rally held in Jalna district, accused NCP and Congress of giving "a free hand to the real estate mafia".
On Saturday, the prime minister was one of the first to congratulate Fadnavis and Pawar.
This outspoken dislike of the NCP existed and continued even before Fadnavis climbed up the political ladder to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.
In June 2013, Fadnavis had tweeted taking a jibe at the senior Pawar after a major reshuffle of portfolios of his ministers in the Maharashtra government saying, "try to change not just faces of ministers but also corrupt intents."
Fadnavis fired another salvo after the junior Pawar was named in the alleged Rs 20,000-crore irrigation scam said to have happened during his time as Maharashtra's water resource minister.
The scam came to light in 2012 during the NCP-Congress rule with reports alleging that 32 projects in the Vidarbha region were involved. Incidentally, Fadnavis hails from Nagpur, the largest city in Maharahstra's Vidarbha region. In his first term as CM, Fadnavis gave his nod to launch an open inquiry against Ajit Pawar and some irrigation ministry officials.
In 2019, after having held the post of chief minister for five years and elections at its helm, Fadnavis renewed his scathing remarks. In Baramati, long considered a NCP stronghold, Fadnavis at a rally said, 'Bure kaam ka bura natija, kyu bhai chacha, haan bhatija' . The song from the movie "Chacha Bhatija" was an obvious jibe at Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar. Seeing a large turnout at the rally at Baramati, Fadnavis said, "some people will not be able to sleep tonight".
Several people on Twitter took a swipe at CM Fadnavis reminding him about what he had written in 2014 before his first term about promising never to ally with the NCP.
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