Maharashtra Assembly Elections are around the corner. Parties like BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and others are closing their ranks and preparing for a fight which entire country will closely follow. Maharashtra is a major state in the country. It sends largest number of MPs to Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh. Upcoming assembly elections are hence a crucial fight for all parties as they try to strengthen their position in Maharashtra India TV spoke exclusively with Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and a prominent BJP leader.
"I will return as Chief Minister of Maharashtra," Fadnavis exuded confidence.
"It will, of course, be for people of the state and my party to decide who heads the government after assembly elections but based on my performance in last five years, I have no doubt," he said
On abrogation of Article 370
Abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir is a hotly discussed topic across the country. The decision, taken in the month of August, is hitting national headlines even now. Fadnavis indicated that abrogation of Article 370 will be a key issue in the run-up to Maharashtra Assembly elections.
"It (Article 370) will definitely be an issue. A Prime Minister has chosen to take such a brave decision after 7 decades. He (Narendra Modi) has made Kashmir an integral part of India. The issue over Article 370 is close to the heart of Indians," said Fadnavis.
On Shiv Sena and Aditya Thackeray as Maharashtra CM
Shiv Sena and BJP have been allies for a long time. But both parties have been seen squabbling with each other publicly in past. Devendra Fadnavis Sought to play down these incidents. He praised Aditya Thackeray, son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
"He (Aditya Thackeray) is a promising leader of Maharashtra. He has toured the state extensively in recent past and he has worked very hard to understand issues at ground level. He should contest elections. It will be a welcome development"
There have been voices from within Shiv Sena that Aditya Thackeray should be made next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Fadnavis seemed to steer clear of the topic.
"His party will decide about what post he will get. We cannot say anything about this," he said.
When asked about Sena leaders' demand of making Aditya the next CM, Fadnavis said that Uddhav Thackeray himself will be the authoritative figure to decide about this and that he does not want to consider statements made by other Shiv Sena leaders.
Devendra Fadnavis added that if Shiv Sena makes a demand for the post of Deputy Chief Minister BJP will be positive about it.
Seat sharing formula with Shiv Sena
It has been seen in many elections in the past that determination of seat-sharing formula between Shiv Sena and BJP takes a lot of time as both parties negotiate aggressively. But Fadnavis was optimistic.
"We are contesting elections together. We are having discussions with Shiv Sena. We will come up with a formula respectable to both sides. Do not worry," said Fadnavis
Watch the complete interview below