Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 7 (ANI): Even as the fierce power tussle between rival NCP factions, led by Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar, continued to play out on Thursday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at his official residence, Varsha, in Mumbai.
Fadnavis was seen leaving the CM’s residence after the meeting on Thursday late night.
Earlier in the day, addressing the recent reports of discontent among Shiv Sena MLAs regarding NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s joining the Shinde-Fadnavis government, CM Shinde made it clear that his government has emerged stronger, adding that he had no plans of stepping down, terming all such reports as ‘rumours’.
“It is all rumours…,” CM Shinde told ANI.
On the split in the NCP, Shinde said the party should introspect on everything that was happening within the rank and file.
“They (NCP) should introspect on what is happening in their party. They should look into their party,”Yesterday I also held a meeting with our MPs and MLAs and our government is getting stronger by the day,” the CM added.
He said further, “With our government now made up of three parties, the strength of our MLAs is more than 200. No leader is unhappy and all have faith in us. Our government is only getting stronger. We have the support of PM Modi and Amit Shah,” the Maharashtra CM said.
Shinde also chaired a meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs at his official residence in Mumbai.
Earlier, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said CM Shinde may be replaced in the coming days, in light of the switchover of Ajit Pawar and 8 other NCP MLAs to the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) government in the state.
Dismissing speculations of the state getting a new chief Minister in the coming days, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the Opposition parties were deliberating creating confusion, adding that Shinde will remain CM.
“All our senior leaders, including Devendra Fadnavis, have already said Eknath Shinde will remain chief minister. He is doing a good job for the state. The Opposition parties are creating confusion,” Bawankule said.
Earlier, on Sunday, Ajit Pawar split the NCP down the middle as he joined the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra along with 8 senior MLAs and took oath as the state’s deputy chief minister for the fifth time. (ANI)