The Maharashtra political imbroglio turned full circle in a matter of an hour on Tuesday after Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, in a stunning move, submitted his resignation, followed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in merely three days ago, in a dramatic early-morning political twist.
Fadnavis made the announcement a day ahead of the floor test his government was supposed to face on Wednesday as per the Supreme Court's directions. Holding a press conference, Fadnavis said the BJP had decided from the first day that it would not poach MLAs to prove its majority.
He also accused the former ally Shiv Sena of being desperate for the chief minister's post and surrendering its "Hindutva" at the feet of Congress president Sonia Gandhi only to keep the BJP out of power.
"The NCP's Ajit Pawar decided to co-operate with us. As per our discussion, we formed government. Today, Ajit Pawar told me he was quitting due to personal reasons...Ajit Pawar met me and said he could not continue with the alliance for some reasons and he was resigning. Since he has resigned, we too do not have majority," he said.
Those accusing the BJP of indulging in horse-trading have themselves purchased an "entire stable", Fadnavis said, hitting out at the Shiv Sena which is seeking to form government with the help of the Congress and NCP.
The BJP leader also questioned the sustainability of the government which the three parties with varying ideologies are planning to form. The Sena-NCP-Congress government would be like an auto rickshaw with its three wheels running in different directions, he said, predicting that it would topple over.
After Fadnavis' resignation, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said, "We demand that Uddhav Thackeray be invited to form government in Maharashtra immediately." Chavan has said that they have already requested the Maharashtra governor to accept Fadnavis' resignation and invite Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong alliance to form a government.
The Maharshtra Congress also said in a tweet, "On this Constitution Day, the power of the Constitution and democracy has been proved. Truth always prevails over lust for power and money."
भारतीय संविधान व लोकशाहीची ताकद किती मोठी आहे हे आज संविधान दिनी सिद्ध झालं. सत्ता व पैशाच्या ताकदीवर सत्याचाच नेहमी विजय होतो.
जय महाराष्ट्र! जय हिंद!
— Maharashtra Congress (@INCMaharashtra) November 26, 2019
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has decided to elect Uddhav Thackeray as its leader to stake claim for government formation, a senior Sena leader said.
The Shiv Sena is the second largest party in the state Assembly with 56 MLAs, after the BJP which won 105 seats, and entitled to be invited by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake claim for government formation after BJP's Fadnavis announced his resignation.
The BJP and the Sena fought last month's Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively. The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister's post.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 26, 2019 17:32:08 IST