Maharashtra latest news: Maharashtra political potboiler produced a spectacular surprise on Saturday with Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as the chief minister for a second term. Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar also took oath as Fadnavis’s deputy in an early morning ceremony at the Raj Bhawan.
Stunned by Ajit Pawar’s move, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the decision by his nephew was his personal and claimed that he was unaware about his move till the very last moment.
“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 tweeted.
Reacting to the development, Shiv Sena accused Ajit Pawar of betrayal. “Sharad Pawar has no role to play in what has happened. People of Maharashtra have been cheated. Ajit Pawar’s body language during the meeting was different,” Sanjay Raut told reporters.
Talking to reporters immediately after taking oath, Fadnavis asserted that Shiv Sena did not “follow people’s mandate”. “Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan. We were invited by the Governor to form government. I thank NCP for supporting us,” Fadnavis added.
“From result day to this day no party was able to form government, Maharashtra was facing many problems including farmer issues, so we decided to form a stable government,” Ajit Pawar said.
Ajit Pawar’s ‘googly’ to join hands with the BJP came just hours after he participated in a meeting between Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress on Friday evening in Mumbai where it was decided that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would lead the three-party coalition government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar while expressing hope that the new government will work for development of the state. “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,” PM Modi said.
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
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had met PM Modi earlier this week triggering speculations in the political circles about a possible realignment, however, it was said that the agenda of the meeting was Maharashtra farmers’ distress.
The BJP had emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats in the Assembly elections held in October. The Shiv Sena won 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. Despite winning a comfortable majority, BJP-Shiv Sena failed to stake claim to form government as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party insisted om having the CM post on a rotational 50:50 basis following which President’s Rule was imposed in the state on November 12.