Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis, who resigned as Maharashtra chief minister on Tuesday, has refused to spell out if it was mistake on his part to ally with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)’s Ajit Pawar.
“I will say the right thing at the right time, don’t worry,” Fadnavis told reporters outside the Maharashtra assembly on Wednesday.
Fadnavis tendered his resignation on Tuesday after Ajit Pawar, who had broke ranks with NCP to take oath as deputy chief minister, quit for “personal reasons”.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Fadnavis said BJP had staked claim to form a government after Ajit Pawar decided to support it. “The government was formed as Ajit Pawar gave a letter of support of all 54 of his party MLAs,” he said.
The resignations came after the Supreme Court, in a hearing on Tuesday morning, said ordered for a floor test in the Maharashtra assembly on Wednesday.
A three-judge bench of the court said immediate floor test is crucial to protect democratic values when there are fears of “horse trading”.
Ajit Pawar did show up on Wednesday morning for the swearing in of legislators in the Maharashtra assembly.
“I never left the party. I was with the NCP, I am with the NCP and will remain with the NCP,” Ajit Pawar said signalling that he has returned to the NCP after a brief rebellion.
Ajit Pawar was welcomed outside the assembly by his cousin Supriya Sule who embraced him with a warm hug and touched his feet.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had made all efforts to bring back his nephew Ajit Pawar into the party. Sharad Pawar had deployed several senior leaders to reach out to him.
Ajit Pawar did meet his uncle at his residence in south Mumbai on Tuesday evening after submitting his resignation.
The resignations of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar brought the curtains down on the BJP’s efforts to form a government and ended 80 hours of drama in Maharashtra.
“I never left the party. I was with the NCP, I am with the NCP and will remain with the NCP. Media has misreported about me in the last few days and I will react to it at an appropriate time,” Ajit Pawar said ahead of the oath by legislators in the assembly.
Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule welcomed her cousin Ajit Pawar with a warm hug ahead of Wednesday’s session. She also touched his feet.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Maharashtra collapsed on Tuesday as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted his administration didn’t command a majority and resigned, capping 80 dramatic hours in which dissident Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar broke ranks and took oath as deputy CM, only to find himself unable to muster the required support.
The fall of the Fadnavis government paved the way for an Opposition coalition of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to stake claim to power.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was chosen as the leader of the three-party alliance in a meeting on Tuesday evening. He will be sworn in as chief minister on November 28 at 6.40pm in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park.
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