Thursday, December 8, 2022

Fadnavis, Pawar resign! From buy-buy to bye-bye!

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A day ahead of the trust vote in the Maharashtra assembly, Devendra Fadnavis has resigned as the Chief Minister. His resignation came just hours after Ajit Pawar, his deputy, put in his papers.

The development followed a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah today, after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test where Fadnavis had to show his majority.

The top court had given the BJP leader time till tomorrow to prove his majority in the Maharashtra assembly. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was asked to appoint the pro-tem speaker for the trust vote.

Fadnavis made this announcement after Ajit Pawar exited his government this afternoon.

“Ajit Pawar gave me his resignation. BJP had decided from the first day we will not indulge in horse-trading. We only decided to form government because NCP was with us. Since he has resigned, I will also resign,” Fadnavis told reporters.

Ajit Pawar hadn’t assumed charge officially. He also skipped the Chief Minister’s first meeting last evening and an event for 26/11 martyrs this morning amid reports of “homecoming”.

The former chief minister also accused the Shiv Sena of betraying the voters and said, “The BJP had the people’s mandate. We tried to form a government according to the people’s mandate but the Shiv Sena realised it was a numbers game.”

In a stunning early morning development on Saturday, Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The new alliance questioned how a government order was put out at 5.47 am revoking President’s Rule in the state to facilitate the 7.50 am swearing in. They then called for an immediate floor test, alleging attempts by the BJP to buy the support of MLAs.

His uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar, however, had contested his claim saying all MLAs are with him and it was junior Pawar’s “individual decision”.

The centre in its argument claimed that Governor Koshyari had invited Devendra Fadnavis to form the government based on a letter showing the support of 170 MLAs, including all 54 of the NCP, and independents.

The NCP accused Ajit Pawar of using the NCP letter of support with signatures of MLAs for the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance to ally with the BJP.

The NCP has been saying that all its MLAs are intact except for Ajit Pawar — party chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew and former legislature party leader — who promised support to the BJP paving way for the early morning oath ceremony.

The BJP, which had 105 of its own, needed 40 more MLAs to prove a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.

— India Legal Bureau

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