Maharashtra drama unfolds: Ajit Pawar quits, so does Devendra Fadnavis

Updated: Nov 26, 2019, 16:53 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Ajit handed his resignation to Fadnavis Tuesday afternoon because he couldn't muster the number that he had promised to bring to the BJP which was asked to prove majority on the floor of the house on Wednesday.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

In yet another twist to Maharashtra's political drama , Ajit Pawar chose to alienate himself from the BJP government by resigning as deputy chief minister. Following his resignation, CM Devendra Fadnavis too decided to tender his resignation to the governor, thus causing the collapse of his 80-hour second rule.

Ajit handed his resignation to Fadnavis Tuesday afternoon because he couldn't muster the number that he had promised to bring to the BJP which was asked to prove majority on the floor of the house on Wednesday. The Supreme Court's directive charted a course for the four parties that have been in the race. It asked the BJP government to prove the numbers on Wednesday after hearing all stakeholders.

Ajit and Fadnavis had taken oath in a hush hush manner Saturday morning. The President's rule was lifted overnight paving way for the new formation even as Ajit's own party was prepared to make a government with Shiv Sena and Congress. They had decided Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray would be the chief minister. However, a sudden turn of events changed politics which then reached the apex court.

On Thursday, the three parties would formally announce Thackeray as their leader for staking a claim to form a government. They had paraded 162 MLAs Monday night in full view of the media.

NCP boss and Ajit's uncle Sharad Pawar managed to convince the nephew to withdraw. In fact, senior Pawar created a situation that Ajit was left with only a couple of MLAs. The Supreme Court's directive sealed Ajit's fate because he wouldn't have been able to use his right as the leader of NCP legislative party for issuing a whip. The court also directed that there was need for holding the Speaker's elections and a pro-tem Speaker should conduct trust vote. It also ruled out a secret ballot for the trust vote and asked for televising the process, thus plugging all possibilities of cross-voting.

Fadanvis said since Ajit has showed his inability to continue, the BJP would also not have a majority.

"I have also decided to quit," he said, wishing the new government best, but feared that the government with diverse views wouldn't continue for long. Does that mean that the BJP would be awaiting for one of the three constituents to break away and join it after some time?

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