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Uddhav Thackeray Likely to Swear in as Maharashtra CM on Dec 1

Amey Tirodkar |
Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena MLAs unanimously elected the Sena leader as their leader, claim support of 170 legislators

Image for representational use only.Image Courtesy : The News Minutes

Mumbai: The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena legislators on Tuesday evening unanimously elected Uddhav Thackeray as their leader. It is learnt that Uddhav Thackeray and his other cabinet colleagues will swear in on Sunday, December 1.  

The swearing in ceremony will take place at Shivaji Park, Dadar. This is the location from where Sena has been addressing traditional Dussehra rally. 

In the meeting of MLAs, Sena leader Eknath Shinde presented resolution of calling new alliance as Maha Vikas Aghadi. This new alliance claims t have support of 170 MLAs out of the 288-member Assembly. 

On Saturday, the Assembly session will be convened for the oath taking procedures of MLAs. All 288 MLAs will take oath on floor of the House, it is learnt.

Earlier, it was a day of rapid-fire political developments when the newly sworn-in Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was forced to quit office in just three days, admitting that he had lost majority to form a government after his Deputy, Ajit Pawar, a rebel NCP leader, had resigned. With this, the shortest government in Maharashtra has collapsed! 

"We don't have majority after Ajit Pawar's resignation as deputy chief minister," Fadnavis said at a press conference in Mumbai.

The announcement by Fadnavis came hours after the Supreme Court directed the BJP-led government to prove its majority on the floor of the House on Wednesday.  

It was in the wee hours of Saturday that Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Ajit Pawar joined hands with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and took oath as Deputy CM of Maharashtra. This was after Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Rule 12 of Transaction of Business norms and got President’s Rule revoked by waiving the need for a Union Cabinet meeting before that.

BJP's Devendra Fadnavis also took oath with Pawar in a hush-hush swearing-in ceremony that was held away from the public eye. However, the political drama did not last long.  Ajit Pawar, who had thought he would get support from around 54 party legislators soon realised that he had almost zero support and resigned from the post on Tuesday afternoon. 

The drama heightened on Monday evening after Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress came together and exhibited their strength of 162 MLAs. It then became clear that the newly sworn government of Maharashtra under Fadnavis was in minority. 

All attempts by BJP to poach MLAs went waste as 162 MLAs were kept under the guard in four city hotels by Sena and NCP cadre. After the SC verdict on Tuesday morning, Ajit Pawar’s failed rebellion against his uncle, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, became clear, leading to his resignation from the Deputy CM’s post, citing ‘personal reasons’.

But, much had happened before that. NCP leader Praful Patel met Ajit Pawar to convince him that he should resign and avoid further embarrassment. Other senior leaders, such as Chhagan Bhujbal, too urged him to reconsider his decision to join BJP. Left with no option, Ajit Pawar put in his papers.

With this, Fadnavis had no option than to resign. Though the former Maharashtra CM tried to put up a brave face at the press conference, it was clear that his resignation before the floor test was a face-saving exercise. 

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