Union Minister and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Nationalist Congress Party's chief, he may have spoken to Sharad Pawar about Shiv Sena quitting NDA and NCP should join the ruling party.
"Pawar and PM Modi talked about farmers. In the meeting, Modi ji would have told Pawar that his party NCP is important for NDA. Shiv Sena is quitting NDA so a big party should join the ruling alliance. That's why PM Modi would have talked with Sharad Pawar," he said while referring to the meeting between PM Modi and Sharad Pawar on November 20.
"I think it was pre-decided that BJP, RPI and NCP should together to form the government. There were discussions on that. I have a belief that Congress will not support (NCP-Shiv Sena) and automatically NCP and BJP will come together. The decision was taken last night," Athawale told reporters here.
Athwale further said that he had also put forward the proposal to NCP chief Sharad Pawar asking his party to join the NDA.
"We were trying to talk with NCP. I also met Sharad Pawar and put forward the proposal of him coming with NDA. But he told me that BJP and Shiv Sena should come together because the mandate is for them. Sanjay Raut kept saying that Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena. But BJP played a good move," he said.
"BJP ne Shiv Sena ko latka diya hai, Congress ko bhatka diya hai aur NCP ko apne jaal me atka diya hai. People want BJP-Shiv Sena government but the latter took the adamant role. BJP taught a lesson to Shiv Sena. Amit Shah was saying that all will be well," the Union Minister said.
Earlier in the day, Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra for the second term.
BJP emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats and the Nationalist Congress Party bagged 54 seats in the recent assembly polls.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar clarified that the decision of going with BJP to form the government in Maharashtra is of his nephew Ajit Pawar, who took as Deputy Chief Minister today.
"Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his," Sharad Pawar tweeted.
The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday. Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the alliance government.
Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats while 44 seats went to Congress in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state.