The month-long political impasse in Maharashtra ended dramatically on Saturday morning with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis returning as chief minister, backed by the Sharad Pawar-led NCP. NCP's Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai at around 7.30 am.
Blaming the Shiv Sena for disrespecting the people's mandate in last month's Assembly polls, Fadnavis said, "People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after the results, after which the President's rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a 'khichdi' government."
"I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and JP Nadda for giving me the chance to serve people once again," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader added.
Ajit Pawar backed the BJP and with the support of Independent lawmakers and smaller parties, the saffron party decided to stake claim to form the government, he said.
After being sworn-in as the deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar said, "From the day the (poll) results were declared on 24 October, no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many problems, including farmers' issues. So we decided to form a stable government."
The surprise swearing-in is being described as a political masterstroke of Sharad Pawar, who on Thursday night had said there was a consensus among the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Congress and the Shiv Sena that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government in Maharashtra.
Hours before the swearing-in, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut tweeted, "Whoever is mocked the most, has the last laugh" at around 7 in the morning. By 8.15 am, the subject and the object of his acerbic tweet had swapped places. It was the BJP which had pulled an apparent coup of sorts and formed the government with the very party, that the Sena had been flirting with, ever since the Maharashtra result was out.
At 7.02 am on Saturday:
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 23, 2019
Until last night, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had maintained that there was a consensus among the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Congress and the Shiv Sena that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government in Maharashtra.
At 7.29 pm on Friday:
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2019
Raut also went on to say that Uddhav Thackeray had given "his consent" to take up the top post on Friday.
At 9.35 am on Friday:
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2019
Congress leader Manikrao Thakre: It is almost final that the next Maharashtra Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena. NCP has never demanded the position of Chief Minister. pic.twitter.com/u28O08pdYi
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2019
Other netizens also took to Twitter to talk about the Shiv Sena chief becoming the next chief minister of Maharashtra.
#UddhavThackeray becomes Maharashtra chief minister. Somewhere up there the ghost of Balasaheb is watching. BJP's success has brought it to this pass. Allies have moved from respect to fear to self-preservation. Kashmir, Bihar, UP and now Maharashtra. Degrees vary, not instinct
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) November 22, 2019
Many people who are supporting #UddhavThackeray
as CM also they oppose RG as PM. For me both are same both are dynasts.
— Kamal लोचन (କମଲ) (@Kamallochanm) November 22, 2019
This alliance is just plain weird. The people of Maharashtra who voted for Congress and NCP clearly do not agree with the ideologies of Sena and didn’t want #UddhavThackeray as CM and the ones who voted for Sena did not want anything to do with Congress and NCP. pic.twitter.com/aeT7UioaEc
— Sanjana Adeshra (@sanjana_adeshra) November 22, 2019
Citizens woke up to the news that Fadnavis had taken oath as chief minister. Most of them expressed complete disbelief over the drastic change, while the Congress hit out at the BJP.
Modi and Shah were among the first leaders to congratulate both Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar on being sworn in.
At 8.16 am on Saturday:
Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 23, 2019
At 8.37 am on Saturday:
मुझे विश्वास है कि यह सरकार महाराष्ट्र के विकास और कल्याण के प्रति निरंतर कटिबद्ध रहेगी और प्रदेश में प्रगति के नये मापदंड स्थापित करेगी।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 23, 2019
In a surprise move, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said his nephew Ajit's decision to support the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra was his "personal and not the NCP's".
At 9.27 am on Saturday:
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 (@PawarSpeaks) November 23, 2019
Meanwhile, Congress hit out at Fadnavis being sworn-in as the Maharashtra chief minister on Saturday, saying it was a "betrayal of people's mandate". Party general secretary Ahmed Patel has said that the illegitimate tie-up between NCP and BJP will not last.
At 10.48 am on Saturday:
Illegal and evil manoeuvres take place in the secrecy of midnight
Such was the shame that they had to do the swearing in hiding
This illegitimate formation will self destruct
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) November 23, 2019
"This is called a betrayal of people's mandate and giving a contract for killing democracy," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.The Congress leader has warned the party against the coalition government. He also tagged media reports on allegations of Ajit Pawar's involvement in scams.
At 9.39 am on Saturday:
मुझे मत देखो यूँ उजाले में लाकर,
सियासत हूँ मैं, कपड़े नहीं पहनती।
इसे कहते हैं-:
जनादेश से विश्वासघात, लोकतंत्र की सुपारी। pic.twitter.com/Iq0U4rY11R
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 23, 2019
Earlier, senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi expressed surprise at the political developments in Maharashtra and said the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena negotiations took too long as the window was grabbed by "fast movers". He tweeted:
At 8.45 am on Saturday:
Surreal wht I read abt #Maharashtra. Thought it was fake news. Candidly &personally speaking, our tripartite negotiations shd not have gone on for more than 3 days...took too long. Window given was grabbed by fast movers. #pawarji tussi grt ho! Amazing if true, still not sure
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 23, 2019
Netizens took to the microblogging site to poke fun at the Shiv Sena party, while others took notice of the fact that these sudden developments make the front pages of newspapers useless.
Feels like Waking up to #GameofThrones episode at 6 am
— Prateek Mishra (@prateek_piscian) November 23, 2019
Today I feel pity for all newspapers... before people read newspaper headline, headline gets changed... #Newsnight #MaharashtraPolitics #MaharashtraGovtFormation #BJPNCP #BJP #surgicalstrike #fadnavis #Devendrafadnavis #Devendra4Maharashtra
— Sandeep Dave (@iSandeepDave) November 23, 2019
So President's rule was revoked at some 6 in the morning and the Governor who didn't give any more time to Shiv Sena promptly swore in the new government before most of us woke up? #MaharashtraGovtFormation
— Radhika Santhanam (@radhikasan) November 23, 2019
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) November 23, 2019
8'th November 2016 - Narendra modi demonetised currency
23 November 2019 - Amit shah demonetised Newspaper headlines. #MaharashtraPolitics
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) November 23, 2019
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2019 14:14:24 IST