Right after a bundle of allegations by the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena on the BJP’s move in the wee hours of Saturday morning to form government in Maharashtra, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad countered by claiming that Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief Minister face in state on which the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance fought and won the elections, and now he is the CM which leaves no foul play.

While addressing the media Prasad said, “BJP and Shiv Sena had a mandate in which the big party was BJP and CM mandate was to Devendra Fadnavis. He has an image of an honest man with no corruption charges on which the people of Maharashtra elected him back in the state.”

Giving figures to compare BJP’s performance in the state he said, “In 2014 BJP fought on 260 seats in Maharashtra and won 47% of them with 28% vote share. While in 2019 elections, it contested on 150 seats with success rate of 70% and vote share of 26% as Devendra Fadnavis as the CM face.”

“In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena won because of BJP as the prospect of Devendra Fadnavis to become the Chief Minister was pivotal. Both the parties (BJP and Shiv Sena) got mandate under the representation of Devendra Fadnavis,” minister said.

He also said that it was the moral and electoral victory of the alliance in the state.

Questioning about the defection of Shiv Sena from the alliance, he said, “After the election results, on whose direction did the Shiv Sena got provoked? Sharad Pawar had said that NCP got the mandate to sit in opposition, the same goes with the Congress.”

“How could this be a match-fixing to grab the CM post?” he asked.

Countering the allegations by Shiv Sena on the BJP’s move, Prasad said, “They are saying that we have murdered the democracy. When they ended the 30-year-old friendship and joined hands with NCP and Congress, parties of opposite ideologies, then isn’t that the murder of democracy? But as per them, if we come forward to form a government with Ajit Pawar-led NCP to respect the democracy then this is the murder of democracy.”

“Mumbai is the financial capital of India and Maharashtra is a big state. It was a conspiracy by them to control the financial capital of India through a back door entry,” he said.

Citing the founder of Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray the minister said, “I don’t want to say anything about those who can’t keep alive the principles of Bala Saheb. It was his ideologies and principles that brought both the parties (Shiv Sena and BJP) together in the state.

Taking on Uddhav Thackeray’s comments on BJP for disrespecting Chhatrapati Shivaji’s ideologies, Prasad said, “Those who can compromise their ideologies for the sake of government formation should talk about Shivaji’s ideologies.”

He also came forward in protection of Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari by saying, “As a Constitution student I ask, didn’t the Governor called each party in the state to claim the government formation?”

“In the morning, a collective claim by BJP and Ajit Pawar-led NCP went to the Governor. Was there any counter-claim by them?,” minister asked.

Quoting Maharashtra BJP chief statement, Prasad said, “Each and every citizen of Maharashtra was asking to us that why aren’t you forming the government when the people of Maharashtra had given you the mandate.”

On the question about the majority number after Sharad Pawar’s statement on no support to BJP by NCP, he said, “The correct place to prove the majority is Vidhan Sabha and we’ll prove it there.”

Attacking on Shiv Sena he said, “They (Shiv Sena) used derogatory words were against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah which we tolerated. I am not commenting on their act but just recalling what they did.”

“We have used the podium to share the agony and pain that Shiv Sena gave to us, but they used their newspaper to write against the PM Modi and Amit Shah,” he added.

“Devendra Fadnavis represents BJP in the state while Ajit Pawat represents NCP and both the leaders are legal and legitimate bodies to claim the government in the state,” he said.

Earlier a joint press conference of Shiv Sena and NCP took place where the Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray condemned BJP’s move to form the government in the state in the wee hours of Saturday morning. A separate press conference was held by Congress which also attacked the BJP on its move.