No One Can Save Maharashtra Govt if Those Within Coalition Get Upset and Leave, Says Amit Shah

The three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra cannot be saved if those within the coalition get upset and leave, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday even as he distanced the BJP from any overt attempts to pull the government down.

In an exclusive interview with Network18’s Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, Shah said the BJP cannot break the trust of the three coalition partners in the state government – Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress – from outside.

“How can the government fall if the three alliance partners continue to trust each other? If those who are in the government get upset and leave the government, then who can save the government… no one,” he said, implying that if the government falls, it would be due to internal discord.

On being asked about any possibility of any backchannel talks between the BJP and NCP, Shah once again hinted towards coalition government’s internal upheaval, and said the BJP is not making efforts to destabilize any state government amid the ongoing fight with the novel coronavirus.

Asked to comment on former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane demanding President’s rule in Maharashtra, the home minister said he (Rane) was a Member of Parliament and reserved the right to express his thoughts as anyone else in the country.

Rane was not the first to meet the Governor with the demand ever since the coalition government came to power over six months ago despite the BJP being the single-largest party in the state. Several other BJP leaders have flocked to the Governor’s office with similar demands.

After Rane met the governor, the NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Sena head and state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had held a meeting for longer than 90 minutes.

The three coalition partners scotched talk of any political changes and said that the government is steady and all parties are as firmly together as they were six months ago, but the buzz of a political coup has refused to die down.

Rumours in political circles are rife that there are internal dissensions over the handling of the coronavirus crisis, with both the NCP and the Congress being unhappy over not having a bigger say in the response. Maharashtra has been badly hit by the pandemic and has the most cases in the country.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also distanced himself from the state government last Tuesday, when he said the Congress is only playing a supporting role in Maharashtra. But Pawar had denied any threat to the government, saying the coalition is stable.

Amit Shah, in the interview, underlined the fact that Centre has stood firmly at every juncture with the Maharashtra government, just like other state governments, in the fight with novel coronavirus.