Maharashtra Coup | Devendra Fadnavis, CM for 80 hours, resigns; says 'don't have numbers'
Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, ahead of the floor test on Wednesday as ordered by the Supreme Court. The resignation came soon after NCP leader Ajit Pawar quit as the deputy CM, just three days after the two took oath.
The resignations came after one-hour-long meeting between Pawar and Fadnavis at the latter's residence today, after the top court's direction on floor test.
Addressing the media before announcing his resignation, Fadnavis said that he was quitting as they did not have the numbers after Pawar's resignation.
"We now do not have the majority and hence we cannot form the government. We don't have majority after Ajit Pawar's resignation as deputy CM," he said.
Refuting the opposition's charge of the BJP resorting to 'Operation Kamal', Fadnavis said that the party will never indulge in horse-trading.
"We had decided that we will never indulge in horse trading, that we will never try to break away any MLA. Those who said that we indulge in horse trading bought the entire horse stable," he said.
Fadnavis launched a scathing attack on Shiv Sena, alleging that the latter demanded what was not discussed between the two parties before the polls.
"In elections clear majority was given to Mahayuti and BJP got maximum 105 seats. We contested with Shiv Sena, but this mandate was for BJP because BJP won 70 percent seats out of all seats we contested. Shiv Sena told us before election, that they will go with anyone which gives them the CM post," he said.
"We waited for them(Shiv Sena) for a long time but they didn't respond and instead talked to Congress-NCP. People who never stepped outside Matoshree(Thackeray residence) to meet anyone were going door to door to make government with NCP and Congress," Fadnavis added.
Furthering his attack on the former ally of the BJP, Fadnavis said that "hunger for power is such that now Shiv Sena leaders are even willing to ally with Sonia Gandhi."
"I am afraid the government will not last long, it will fall under its own contradictions. The Sena-Congress-NCP will not be able to sustain it's own burden," Fadnavis said.
The BJP-Sena alliance had got comfortable majority in the October 21 elections. However, it failed to form government after the latter demanded rotational chief minister for 2.5 years each and 50:50 sharing of ministerial posts.
While Sena claimed that its demand was part of the seat-sharing deal between the two parties ahead of polls, the BJP denied any such post-poll agreement.
The major development paves way for the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine, which staked claim on Monday, submitting letter of support with signatures of 162 MLAs to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Following Pawar's resignation, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said that "Ajit dada has resigned and he is with us. Uddhav Thackeray will be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for 5 years."
The swearing-in of Fadnavis and Pawar as the chief minister and his deputy in a secretive ceremony on Saturday morning sparked off another political drama in the state which has been awaiting a new government since October 21, when polls were held in the state.
The move was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Shiv Sen-NCP-Congress combine, which a day before had agreed to join hands and form government under the leadership of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The resignation by Fadnavis and Pawar came hours after the Supreme Court ordered floor test for Fadnavis on Wednesday to prove his majority in the House saying there is a "possibility of horse trading" in case of delay.
As a month has elapsed after the declaration of results of the Assembly elections it is "incumbent upon the court to protect the democratic values" for which "immediate floor test" is the "most effective mechanism" to curtail unlawful practices such as horse trading as well as to avoid uncertainty and to effectuate smooth running of democracy by ensuring a stable Government, it said.
The apex court asked Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to appoint a pro-tem speaker and ensure that all the elected members of the House are sworn in on Wednesday itself by 5:00 PM for paving the way for floor test.
It directed that the voting in the Assembly will not be on the basis of secret ballot and the entire proceeding will have to be telecast live.
The top court made it absolutely clear that "Pro-tem Speaker shall be solely appointed for the aforesaid agenda immediately".
The combine had on Saturday night filed a petition seeking quashing of the Maharashtra governor's decision and demanded an immediate floor test to avoid "further horse trading".
The three parties also sought a direction to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite them to form government under the leadership of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, saying they have the support of more than 144 MLAs.
On Monday, the Centre submitted the letters of the Governor and Fadnavis as asked on Sunday by the bench and argued before the top court that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited Devendra Fadnavis to form government based on a letter showing the support of 170 MLAs, including all 54 of the NCP of Ajit Pawar.
After a month of bickering over the issue of power sharing, Sena broke 25-year-old alliance with the BJP and approached the NCP to form government in the state. The NCP-Congress combine, however, went into hectic deliberations before agreeing on joining hands with the ideologically opposite Sena
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta