BJP turned the tables on Shiv Sena by forming a govt early morning with Ajit Pawar’s support
BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy in an early morning political strike that stunned the Shiv Sena and Congress.
This came only hours after the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress went through the final motions of forming a new coalition government, with NCP chief Sharad Pawar saying there was “unanimity” over Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister.
Sharad Pawar later clarified that his nephew had acted on his own against the party’s decision, and reports said Ajit was removed as the leader of NCP’s legislative party.
Shortly after being sworn in, Fadnavis said,”I would like to express my gratitude to NCP’s Ajit Pawar ji, he took this decision to give a stable government to Maharashtra and come together with BJP. Some other leaders also came with us and we staked claim to form government.”
Ajit Pawar, said:“I took this decision as the discussions of the alliance of the three parties Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena was not ending. There was a need to give a stable government in Maharashtra.”
As speculation mounted in the morning on whether Ajit had done this with the secret blessings of the senior Pawar, he tweeted that the nephew had acted on his own.
“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.
Later Sharad Pawar held a joint press conference with Uddhav Thackeray where he said there were only “10-11 NCP MLAs” who had accompanied Ajit to the Raj Bhawan, and that they were duped into doing so.
Pawar also alleged Ajit may have had gone to the governor with a false list of signatures gathered for registering attendance.
Thackeray said it was a surgical strike on Maharashtra and that it would be avenged by the people of the state.
“This is clear disrespect towards the Constitution and the mandate of the people of Maharashtra” he said.
‘Party and family split’
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, who had been the most vocal on the proposed alliance, said Sena chief Thackeray was in touch with the senior Pawar, and that Ajit had backstabbed all of them.
“Ajit Pawar has backstabbed the people of Maharashtra. BJP has once again misused the Governor’s Office for power. This is against the credentials of the country’s democracy, ” Raut said.
A visibly moved Supriya Sule, NCP MP and Ajit Pawar’s cousin, in her WhatsApp status said the Pawar family and the party had split.
“Who do you trust in life. Never felt so cheated in life. Defended him, loved him. Look what I get in return,” she said in another status post, about Ajit Pawar.
Later in the evening however, Ajit’s confidante Dhananjay Munde turned up for a meeting of the NCP , while two other ‘rebels’ who were with him said publicly they stood with the senior Pawar.
Shortly after the swearing-in, Prime Minister Narendra tweeted his congratulations to both Fadnavis and Pawar.
This was followed shortly afterwards by BJP president and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah.
Conspiracy to control financial capital: BJP
In the afternoon, minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaking for the BJP said it was a conspiracy by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to control the financial capital of India through the back door.
“We had the electoral and moral mandate to form the government in Maharashtra,” he said.
Details of the the planning that went behind the BJP’s move – dubbed as ‘clandestine’ by rivals – were first revealed when reports said that Fadnavis and Pawar took charge after President’s rule, imposed in the state a fortnight ago , was revoked at 5.47 am.
According to a Home Ministry notification, President Ram Nath Kovind signed the proclamation for revocation of the central rule this morning.The gazette notification to this effect was issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla at 5.47 am.
The state was plunged into a political crisis post election results on October 25 after the Sena broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post.
The BJP and Sena, which fought the Assembly polls in alliance, had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats, respectively.