MUMBAI: In a dramatic twist overnight, the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister for a second term at Raj Bhavan this morning more than a week after the state was placed under President’s Rule. Nationalist Conference Party chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew, Ajit Pawar, will be his deputy.
The move comes at a time when deliberations between the Congress, the NCP and Shiv Sena to form a government in the state reached the final stage on Friday and the three parties inched closer to announcing an alliance.
“The BJP wanted to give a stable government to the people of Maharashtra,” Mr Fadnavis said after taking oath, adding that the Shiv Sena “did not follow people’s mandate”. “I thank the NCP coming in support to form this government. We all know that there was President’s rule for the last few days… Shiv Sena did not follow the mandate,” he said.
After taking oath as the Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar told reporters: “From the day of result to this day…. no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many issues, including farmer issues. So we decided to form a stable government.
In a tweet this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Mr Fadnavis and Mr Pawar. “Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra,” he wrote.
Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 23, 2019
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the state elections last month, could not earlier stake claim to form a government after it could not reach an agreement with its former ally Shiv Sena on its “50:50” demand.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by the Shiv Sena (56). The NCP won 54 seats and its Congress had won 44 seats.