Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said there are "talks within the BJP" to replace Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the backdrop of the ongoing Maratha quota stir which has turned violent.
"(BJP president) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi will take the final decision on changing the leadership in the state. But there is talk within BJP of changing the chief minister," Mr Raut told reporters in Mumbai .
Mr Fadnavis, sworn in as the chief minister in October 2014, is under flak from Maratha quota protesters and the opposition parties who have accused the state government of dilly-dallying on the demands of the Maratha community.
The present situation in the state is "worrying" and the BJP-led state government has been "unable to tackle" it, Mr Raut said.
Two senior BJP ministers rubbished Raut's claim, saying there was no talk within BJP of replacing Fadnavis.
Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said, "There is no reason to replace the chief minister. The Chief Minister is much more in favour of giving Marathas reservation than even I am."
Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said there is no talk within the BJP of replacing Fadnavis. All decisions in the party are taken collectively, he added.
Dismissing Raut's claim, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, "Both the government and chief minister are doing a fine job and are stable. There are no problems within the party. This is just rumour-mongering by the Sena."
Mr Raut also said the Shiv Sena has been supporting the Maratha community's demand of reservation in government jobs and education from the very beginning.
"The BJP, too, had taken part in protests for the Marathas (for quota) when it was in opposition. Now, it's the BJP's responsibility to see how it (implementation of quota for Marathas) can be done," he said.
The government can't run away from the issue, saying the matter is sub-judice, Raut said, referring to the BJP-led dispensation's argument that the issue of legality of a quota for the Marathas is pending before the Bombay High Court.