CM’s resignation came following withdrawal of Ajit Pawar from Govt
Supreme Court orders floor-test within 24 hours.
Fadnavis admits to lack of numbers to form Government
Earns distinction of being Chief Minister for shortest period -- of about 80 hours
Hitavada Correspondents :
MAHARASHTRA’S political drama took another turn when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tendered his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari within hours of the Supreme Court verdict that he would have to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly within 24 hours.
The trigger of this decision came when Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar approached Fadnavis to tender his resignation citing “personal reasons”. Fadnavis admitted at a press conference that he was proceeding to Raj Bhawan to tender his resignation since he did not have the numbers with him. He also blamed Shiv Sena for precipitating a political crisis in the State, and insisted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) never compromised with its principle-based politics. In a day of rapid developments, Maharashtra’s political mastermind Sharad Pawar organised a meeting of his Nationalist congress Party (NCP), Congress and Shiv Sena in the evening and announced the formation of Mahavikas Aghadi of which Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be the chief ministerial candidate.
With the resignation of Fadnavis, who was sworn in by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a hush-hush ceremony just last Saturday for a second term after stunning midnight developments where Ajit Pawar revolted and propped up the Government, the Shiv Sena said that its supremo Uddhav Thackeray will be the new Chief Minister heading a post-poll alliance. Besides the Sena, the alliance comprises the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress. Fadnavis handed over his resignation to the Governor after he announced his decision at a crowded news conference in Mumbai. “Fadnavis called on the Governor and tendered his resignation,” said a statement from the Raj Bhawan.
Ajit Pawar had supported the BJP as leader of the 54-member NCP legislature party and with his resignation earlier in the day, the Government has lost majority, said Fadnavis, hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor-test in the State Assembly on Wednesday for the BJP leader to prove his majority. The top court also directed that the voting in the Assembly will not be on the basis of secret ballot and the entire proceedings will have to be telecast live. It also made it absolutely clear that a Protem Speaker shall be appointed to administer the oath to the newly-elected members of the House on Wednesday itself by 5:00 PM to pave the way for the floor-test.
“In a situation wherein, if the floor-test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor-test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so,” said a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna. The BJP’s efforts to cobble a majority hoping that Ajit Pawar will be able to enlist the support of a majority of the MLAs of the NCP came a cropper after almost all the 54 legislators stood by his uncle and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, the 3-party combine, paraded 162 MLAs in an unprecedented show of strength at a luxury hotel in Mumbai on Monday night indicating that the numbers were stacked heavily against the BJP. In the 288-member Assembly, the BJP is the single-largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by the Shiv Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44). Fadnavis said that the BJP will become the voice of the people as a responsible Opposition. “We won’t indulge in horse-trading,” he added.
Asked if he thought Ajit Pawar extending support to the BJP was a strategy of Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis said, “Sharad Pawar will be able to comment on this issue”. “Ajit Pawar told me he was quitting due to personal reasons,” Fadnavis said. Maharashtra Assembly poll mandate was more for the BJP than the Shiv Sena, he added. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters after a meeting of the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance leaders that Uddhav Thackeray will be the Chief Minister for 5 years. Another Sena leader Eknath Shinde claimed that during the floor-test, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ will have the support of “170 legislators”. Most of the issues among the Sena, NCP and Congress have been sorted out, a senior NCP leader said on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t think the three parties would need any more time to stake claim for Government formation,” he said.
A senior official from Vidhan Bhawan said that with Fadnavis quitting, there was no need to hold a floor test in the Assembly on Wednesday. “Instead, the Governor may invite the second largest party - Shiv Sena - to stake claim for Government formation,” he said. The Governor will require a joint statement from the Sena, NCP and Congress along with signatures of their MLAs. The Sena’s 56 MLAs along with the NCP and Congress’ 54 and 44 legislators, respectively, would take the combine’s tally to 154. The majority mark is 145. 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 for the next Government. The three parties finalised their Common Minimum Programme after the joint meeting, sources said.
Uddhav Thackeray to take oath on 28th
SHIV Sena President Uddhav Thackeray was nominated as Chief Minister of the Government to be formed by Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance, called Mahavikas Aghadi, here on Tuesday. He will take oath as Chief Minister on November 28. The Sena president met the Governor and staked claim to form Government of the Mahavikas Aghadi late on Tuesday evening.
The swearing in of the new Governor will be held at Shivaji park on Thursday at 5.30 pm. Uddhav will be the first from the Thackeray family to assume a Government post. At a special meeting of the Aghadi at Hotel Trident late evening, Uddhav Thackeray’s name was proposed and seconded by the leaders of all the three parties. NCP leader Jayant Patil and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat lauded the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. Explaining the basic idea of the Mahavikas Aghadi, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar insisted that the dream, of Shiv Sena founder (the late) Balasaheb Thackeray, had come true, and the State would now have a stable Government that would tackle all the issues effectively. Responding to the meeting’s sentiment, Uddhav Thackeray accepted the new responsibility and thanked Sharad Pawar and others and recalled how he got groomed in his family’s tradition of selfless service to the society.
Special Assembly session today for floor-test
Nov 26 (PTI)
MAHARASHTRA Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has called a special session of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday where floor-test will be conducted after Protem Speaker administers oath to the 288 newly-elected members, an official said on Tuesday. The oath will be administered by newly-appointed Protem Speaker Kalidas Kolambkar at the session, which will begin at 8 am. “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 Protem Speaker will call for a floor-test,” the official said. The newly-elected members couldn’t take oath even one month after the results of the legislative Assembly elections were announced, due to political up and downs in the State.