BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis takes oath as Maharashtra CM, NCP’s Ajit Pawar his deputy
In a dramatic turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister on Saturday along with Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar as the deputy chief minister.
The BJP staked claim to form the government on Saturday morning after which governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the Centre to withdraw the President’s rule in Maharashtra.The two were sworn in after the President’s rule, imposed in the state a fortnight ago, was revoked at 5.47 am.
Until late last night the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena were holding talks to form the next government in Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar was present in this meeting. It was widely expected that the three parties will hold a press conference to announce the modalities of their government.
“I took this decision as the discussions of the alliance of the three parties Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena was not ending. There was a need to give a stable government in Maharashtra,” said Pawar, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
It is not yet clear whether Ajit Pawar has split the NCP or he has the backing of his uncle and the entire party. But ANI quoting sources said Sharad Pawar was part of discussions for Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government formation and had given his assent to Ajit Pawar.
Sharad Pawar had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday for 40 minutes in Delhi.
“There was a need to form a stable government in Maharashtra. I want to thank Ajit Pawar for giving us this support. Along with Pawar, there are section of MLAs and other independent legislators who are supporting us. We will now prove our majority on the floor of the house,” said Fadnavis after taking oath.
“The mandate of the people was for BJP-Sena but since the latter insulted this mandate we took this decision,” he said.
“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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
While the development derailed the Shiv Sena’s quest for chief ministership, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Mahiu Singhvi described it as surreal.
Saturday morning’s development came as a complete surprise after the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress appeared set to stake claim to power in Maharashtra with Sharad Pawar announcing on Friday that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will lead the alliance and be its chief ministerial candidate.