Uddhav Thackeray is all set to take oath as Maharashtra’s new chief minister on 28 November (tomorrow) after an extraordinary show of strength by the NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Congress left Devendra Fandavis with no option but to resign on Wednesday. Fadnavis stunned everyone with his resignation soon after the Supreme Court ordered a floor-test by 5 PM today. The resignation by Fadnavis came soon after his deputy Ajit Pawar also stepped down from his post. The BJP had opposed the demand for an immediate floor-test since it did not have enough numbers and more time would have suited the saffron party to carry out the alleged horse-trading of MLAs.
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine on Tuesday met in Mumbai to finalise their government formation plans. NCP leader Nawab Malik informed that Uddhav Thackeray will lead the government as the new chief minister. The three parties have already staked their claims to form the government.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was asked if they will consider inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To which, he answered in the affirmative adding that even Home Minister Amit Shah will be invited.
The BJP, which won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, had stunned everyone on Saturday morning with an early morning swearing-in ceremony of Fadnavis as the new chief minister and Ajit Pawar as his deputy. It was widely believed that Ajit Pawar had the support of all 54 NCP MLAs. However, his uncle and NCP founder, Sharad Pawar, moved in with lightning speed by holding a joint press conference with the Congress and Thackeray to deny Ajit Pawar’s claims. In the end, the BJP’s gamble backfired spectacularly. Many believed that propping Ajit to briefly join hands with the BJP was a fine political move by Sharad Pawar, who brought an indecisive Congress on board to support the Shiv Sena as well as outsmarting Amit Shah in his own game.
Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray has thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhi adding that he had never dreamed of becoming the chief minister of Maharashtra. He met Governor Koshyari on Wednesday. He will take oath as the new chief minister at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on Thursday.