Fadnavis on Saturday returned as the state's chief minister propped up by Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP on Sunday expressed confidence that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will prove his government’s majority in the state Assembly, claiming he has the support of more than 170 MLAs. Talking to reporters here, BJP leader Ashish Shelar said Fadnavis will provide a stable and strong government. “With Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar having taken oath, there is a sense of happiness and positivity among people,” he said. “Fadnavis has the support of more than 170 MLAs and the BJP government will prove majority on the floor of the House,” he said. Shelar said Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has given time till November 30 to the new government to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
He rejected the charge that the swearing in on Saturday was done “in the cover of darkness”. “We are RSS volunteers who attend shakhas at 6 am. We consider what we do early morning as good,” the former Mumbai BJP chief said. Hitting out at the Shiv Sena, he quipped, “What is done in the cover of darkness is going to meet Congress leader Ahmed Patel in a car which had black-tinted glass.” He was apparently referring to reports in a section of media about Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s meeting with Patel last week. Fadnavis on Saturday returned as the state’s chief minister propped up by Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief ministerial candidate.
Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in by Governor Koshyari at a hush hush ceremony here, leading to lifting of the President’s rule in the state. Ajit Pawar’s volte face created fissures in the NCP, whose chief Sharad Pawar distanced himself from his nephew’s dramatic action, saying the decision to back Fadnavis was his personal choice and not that of the party. On Saturday evening, the NCP removed Ajit Pawar as the party’s legislature unit head, saying his move was not in line with the party’s policies.
The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month’s Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively. The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post. The Congress and the NCP, both pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.