In a ‘Maha’ twist overnight, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the early hours of Saturday, along with a deputy, Ajit Pawar, from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Devendra Fadnavis after taking oath for the second time said: “We were invited by the Governor to form government. I thank NCP and Ajit Pawar for supporting us.”
Devendra Fadnavis has to prove his majority In the floor of the legislative assembly.
The early morning “coup” comes a few hours after NCP chief, Sharad Pawar pledged support to Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister. In a statement he called his nephew, Ajit Pawar’s move his “personal decision and not one endorsed by the party.”
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the state elections last month with 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, had told the Governor last week that it could not form government as it did not have a majority.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, partners for over 30 years, fell out despite winning a majority together, with the Sena insistent on its “50:50” power-sharing demand including rotational chief ministership.
The Sena, with 56 MLAs, turned to the NCP (54) and Congress (44) for support. Just as it seemed that the alliance was finally on track, the BJP pulled off a coup.