Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said he was a witness to the planning of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government to arrest then leader of opposition and current deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and his BJP colleague Girish Mahajan.
Shinde made the sensational claim while speaking to reporters here on the eve of the Maharashtra Assembly's Budget session. "I was a witness to the ongoing planning of the MVA government to arrest then leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis and Girish Mahajan. That government had even planned to invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act 1999 against Mahajan. I cannot repeat what I had said that time to stop them," Shinde said.
"Instead of changing the decision, I later toppled the whole government and made them (MVA) sit at home. The strategy was to put the Bharatiya Janata Party on the backfoot (through the arrests)," Shinde claimed. When asked why his government was not taking action against those involved in this conspiracy, the CM said, "Dethroning is enough for them. I am well aware of who was indulging in such practices. If required, we will initiate an inquiry into the matter.”
Fadnavis had made the claim about a plan to arrest him by the Uddhav Thackeray government during a media interaction in January this year. However, the NCP's Dilip Walse patil, who was home minister under Thackeray, had refuted this claim. Incidentally, Fadnavis now handles the home portfolio, while Mahajan is the state medical education and research minister.