With less than a month to go for the Assembly polls, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was forced to give his resignation on Friday, with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) pulling the plug on the DF government.
This is the latest in a series of dramatic events that have unfolded since Thursday, when the two main alliances broke up in the state.
It also shows the viciousness that is likely in the coming days, as former allies turn foes.
If Chavan’s resignation gets accepted on Saturday, it will bring to an end his four-year tenure in the state. It will also pull the curtains on the 15-year rule of the DF government.
The resignation was triggered by the NCP, which wanted to ensure Chavan was ousted from the top job.
Problems between the allies started to emerge four years ago, with many flashpoints between Chavan and the Pawars.
“We wanted to make sure that Chavan is called former CM as he heads for his electoral battle in Karad. He has a major role to play in this split, and there is no love lost here,” said a senior NCP leader.
Following NCP’s move, the BJP rushed in with a request to the governor on Friday morning to call for President’s rule in the state.
“The code of conduct is underway. With resignation of all NCP ministers, Congress is in minority and there is no option but for Chavan to resign. We fear misuse of government machinery during elections by this minority government,” said Eknath Khadse, senior BJP leader, who met governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
While Chavan chose to keep mum on the issue other, a press release was issued saying that he had met the governor and tendered his resignation.
“This just goes to prove that the NCP and BJP have a tacit understanding and we might see a different kind of alliance post polls,” said a senior Congress leader.
Both the NCP and BJP have cornered Chavan in his contest from Karad (south). While the NCP has supported sitting Congress legislator and now rebel Vilas Patil Undalkar, the BJP has poached former NCP candidate Atul Bhosale to contest against Chavan.