"Uddhav Thackeray Was Given Many Chances": Devendra Fadnavis To NDTV

In an exclusive interview with NDTV's Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia, Mr Fadnavis claimed that the Eknath Shinde government is forced to fix things in Mumbai that should have been fixed 20 years ago.

Eknath Shinde said Uddhav Thackeray failed to capitalise on the many chances given to him.


Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today accused  Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray of failing to deliver on the "many chances" given to him by the people of Mumbai during his tenure as the chief minister of the state.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV's Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia, Mr Fadnavis claimed that the Eknath Shinde government is forced to fix things in Mumbai that should have been fixed years ago.

"Uddhav Thackeray was given many chances by the people of Mumbai but he did not do anything about it. There is not one iconic thing done or built by him in the city," Mr Fadnavis told NDTV.

In June 2022, Mr Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister following a mutiny within the Shiv Sena ranks. A split followed and a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly put Sena leader Eknath Shinde in the chief minister's chair and Mr Fadnavis was appointed as his deputy. The Shinde faction of the Sena joined hands with the BJP and is currently the ruling party in the state.

Mr Fadnavis slammed Mr Thackeray for his alleged "anti-modi" stance and ruled out any possibility of an alliance with his party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. 

"There is no scope of any such attempts (potential alliance with Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena). You can take note of this. If he is making an attempt, I don't know. From our end, there is no scope and no reason to do so. The roles he has taken, the anti-Modi role... I am sad that, for vote-bank politics, he is now indulging in pseudo-secular, appeasement politics," he said in Hindi. 

"He has opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act. I am finding it difficult to understand Bal Thackeray's son could do so. So I think the groups are now divided," he added.

On a potential pact with Mr Thackeray's cousin Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Mr Fadnavis said, "We have not begun any alliance talks with Raj Thackeray. We believe in regional identity. Raj Thackeray talks about Marathis while also talking about Hindutva. I won't say that there is no possibility of any alliance. But, we are three partners in this alliance, so it is difficult to add someone new."

Mumbai's Sewage Problem

Praising his government's work in India's financial capital, Mr Fadnavis highlighted the sewage water problem in the city.

"The work that is being done in Mumbai today, should have been done 20 years ago," Mr Fadnavis continued. "There's so much sewage water in Mumbai. The water goes to the oceans through sceptic tanks built during the British Raj. That's why some of our beaches stink."

Last month, the Maharashtra cabinet approved a proposal to extend its Urban Renewal Mission to construct railway overbridges, national highways and sewage treatment plants.

"As soon as we replaced the Uddhav government, we got tenders and we can assure that in the next three years, not a single drop of dirty water will enter our oceans. Mumbai's beaches will resemble that of foreign countries," Mr Fadnavis added.

"Uddhav Thackeray said we do not need bullet trains," Mr Fadnavis said, alluding to the former chief minister's order to review the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project in 2019. "When we came into power, we worked like a bullet. In the next 2.5 years, you will travel by bullet trains in Maharashtra."

On Contesting Lok Sabha Elections

With the Lok Sabha elections just weeks ahead, when asked whether he would be contesting the polls, Mr Fadnavis said, "We have announced 20 seats so far in Maharashtra. All the seats from where people thought I would be contesting have been announced. So, there should not be any discussion on this (on him contesting)."

The BJP has announced candidates for 20 out of 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. The party is in alliance in the state with Mr Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP.