Maharashtra government formation: Devendra Fadnavis resigns as CM after 3 days; here are other CMs with short stints

Devendra Fadnavis takes the blame as he resigns after being Chief Minister for four days

Maharashtra government formation: Devendra Fadnavis resigns as CM

The mess in Maharashtra politics is untangling.

Devendra Fadnavis resigns as Chief Minister after 4 days in power with support from NCP rebel Ajit Pawar.

The rival coalition of Shiv Sena, Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party will pick their leader today.

The mess in Maharashtra politics is untangling. Devendra Fadnavis has resigned as the Chief Minister after four days in power with support from Ajit Pawar, the rebel leader from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

The resignation by Fadnavis was forced by Ajit Pawar pulling out of the proposed coalition with the BJP. With that, the BJP will be short of the required number of legislators in the state assembly.

Even as he mocked his rivals, Fadnavis took the blame for the misadventure. He said that the decision, three days ago, to form the government with the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP was a decision of the state unit, thereby absolving the central leadership of the BJP i.e. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

Fadnavis’ decision to resign has come just hours after the Supreme Court ordered the trust vote in the assembly, with a temporary speaker, to expedite government formation in the state. Despite the pre-poll alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena bagging a majority in the election, the two parties fell out soon after the results and pushed the state into President’s rule.

Meanwhile, the rival coalition of Shiv Sena, Congress, and the NCP has got into a huddle to pick their leader. “Shiv Sena’s Hindutva has bowed down in front of Congress Party’s Sonia Gandhi,” Fadnavis said mocking Uddhav Thackeray’s attempts to stitch a coalition with its ideological rivals. “The three wheels of this new government will move in three different directions,” he added.

This is how the unprecedented political crisis in Maharashtra played out in recent weeks.

October 24: BJP won 102 seats in the recent assembly elections but need a partner to reach the magic number of 145, to form the government. While Sena had won 56 seats, NCP won 54 seats and Congress won 44 seats. As Sena and BJP disagreed on seat sharing, endless discussions and delays led to a President’s rule in the state.

November 10: BJP says it will be unable to form the government while Shiv Sena seeks 24 hours to prove its ability. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party was looking to garner support from ideological rivals- the NCP and the Congress.

November 12: Governor rejects the Shiv Sena ‘s claim and the state is brought under President’s rule.

November 23: Just when a coalition between Sena, Congress and NCP seemed imminent, Ajit Pawar sprung a surprise. In a dramatic turn of events, the leader of NCP’s legislative party decides to back the BJP — against the wishes of the party chief Sharad Pawar. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis is sworn in as chief minister and Ajit Pawar takes oath as deputy chief minister in a hush-hush ceremony on Saturday.

November 24: The aggrieved coalition moves Supreme Court against the governor’s decision.Mukul Rogatgi, the advocate on behalf of the Fadnavis asserted to the court that they are ready for a floor test. The BJP government submitted two letters to the Supreme Court, one of them include the letter submitted by Devendra Fadnavis to the governor. The letter had 54 signatures of NCP MLAs, and current deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s assurance that he will support the government for a stable government.

November 25: The Supreme Court ordered a trust vote in the assembly but just hours after the order, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar resign from their positions.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has convened a special Assembly session on Wednesday at 8 AM even as the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine is set to stake claim to form the government with Uddhav Thackeray as its leader. 

“Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has called a special session of the legislative assembly on Wednesday. The session would begin at 8 am for the oath-taking ceremony of the 288 members. Following the oath, the pro-tem speaker will call for a floor test,” an official said.

The oath will be administered by newly-appointed pro-tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar, who was appointed by Governor Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday.

After the fall of the three-day-old Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, leaders of the Sena-NCP-Cong combine met at a suburban hotel in Mumbai to thrash out their moves ahead of the governor inviting them to form the next government.

The three parties finalised their Common Minimum Programme after the joint meeting, sources said.

“Today evening there will be a joint press conference of the three (Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP) parties and a meeting. In the meeting leader of joint legislative party will be elected, I think Uddhav ji will be elected”, Congress leader KC Venugopal told ANI.

Meanwhile, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that party supremo Uddhav Thackeray will be the Chief Minister for the next five years. There were reports that Uddhav will induct two deputies – Balasaheb Thorat of Congress and Jayant Patil of NCP.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was resigning as the chief minister after Ajit Pawar, who had offered him support, decided to leave the alliance, a day before the floor test ordered by the Supreme Court. 

At a press meet, Fadnavis said he had formed the government because the people’s mandate was in favour of the BJP alliance. He avoided staking a claim initially because the Shiv Sena, his ally, had refused to support him. But when Ajit Pawar offered support, he decided to form the government and fulfil the mandate that had been given to his party.

Fadnavis blamed the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance of being opportunistic and said their Common Maximum Programme was to keep the BJP out of power.

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