The ongoing drama in Maharashtra took another sharp turn after Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced his resignation as the chief minister of Maharashtra. The resignation comes after Ajit Pawar, resigned from his post as the deputy chief minister of the state.
Fadnavis and Pawar stepped down hours after the Supreme Court ordered the recently formed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Pawar led rebel alliance government to prove a majority in a floor test on Wednesday.
Both of them held the post for three and a half days.
Fadnavis announced his resignation while speaking to media persons on Tuesday, and said, the party did not have the numbers to form the government in the state after Ajit Pawar submitted his resignation.
"BJP had a better mandate than Shiv Sena. People gave us a clear mandate with 105 seats. Shiv Sena thought they could bargain because of the mandate and started doing it publicly. We formed government keeping mandate in mind. We spoke to Shiv Sena for many days but instead of talking to us they started talking to Congress and NCP," Fadnavis said.
The political drama peaked on Saturday when BJP decided to join hands with NCP leader Pawar to form a government in Maharashtra ending the President's rule imposed in the state. Fadnavis and Pawar, both took oath as the CM and Deputy CM in a quiet ceremony in the wee hours of Saturday after years of publicly criticising each other.
The sudden alliance and rushed swearing in ceremony left Shiv Sena and NCP leaders shocked and clueless. Sharad Pawar, NCP supremo and uncle of Ajit, took to Twitter to deny any knowlegde of the turn of events and asserted that the alliance was made without his knowledge. The junior Pawar was also removed from his post as leader of NCP's legislature unit.
Shiv Sena and NCP leaders recovered quickly from the twists and turns, and came together in a public show of strength. Simultaneously, Pawar senior put in all efforts to bring back Member of Legistlative Assembly (MLAs) who had gone "incommunicado" after the junior Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister.
On Monday evening, 162 MLAs including independents gathered at a hotel in Mumbai, led by Uddhav Thackeray and senior Pawar to show their unity. The leaders held up banners that read ‘we are 162'
While it remains to be seen whether Pawar junior is welcomed back into NCP, media reports say that leaders from Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena have requested the Governor to invite the alliance to form the government in Maharashtra.