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Uddhav Thackeray to be sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on November 28

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray pays tribute to party founder and father Balasaheb Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai on November 26, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@OfficeofUT

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray pays tribute to party founder and father Balasaheb Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai on November 26, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@OfficeofUT  

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The NCP, the Shiv Sena and the Congress joined by independents and smaller parties form the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi alliance, and unanimously elect Mr. Thackeray as its leader; Devendra Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar quit ahead of floor test.

Capping a day of extraordinary and swiftly changing political developments, leaders of the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress met Maharahstra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari late on Tuesday to stake claim to form the next government, with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.

The swearing in ceremony of the new government will take place at 5.30 p.m. on November 28 at the Shivaji Park stadium, where the Sena party holds it annual Dussehra rally. The MLAs will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Earlier in the evening, the three parties, joined by independent MLAs and smaller parties such as Samajwadi Party, Swabhimani Party of farmer leader Raju Shetti and Lok Bharti passed a resolution for the formation of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), and unanimously elected Mr. Thackeray as the leader of the alliance.

SC request

The day’s developments were set in motion with the Supreme Court hearing in the morning at which the court requested Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to ensure that a floor test is conducted on November 27 to determine whether Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis commands majority in the Assembly.

Laying down the procedure for the floor test, the Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana ordered the immediate appointment of a pro tem Speaker solely for the conduct of a floor test and said all the elected members should take the oath of office on Wednesday before 5 p.m.

 

Just hours after the Court decision, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced his resignation, saying the BJP no longer had a majority after his deputy, the NCP’s Ajit Pawar, quit citing “personal reasons”. The resignations came a little more than three days after Mr. Fadnavis and Mr. Ajit Pawar were sworn in early on Saturday morning.

Lack of majority

Speaking to the media Mr. Fadnavis said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believed that Mr Ajit Pawar had brought with him the entire Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) strength for support.

However, after Mr. Pawar’s resignation, the BJP did not have the number to cross the half-way mark of 145, he said.

“After Mr Pawar’s resignation — who we believed brought in the entire NCP strength with him — we do not have the majority. Our stand has been the party will not indulge in any horse-trading, and we will stick to that by not forming the government. I have submitted my resignation to the Governor,” Mr. Fadnavis said, adding that the BJP will sit in the Opposition for the next five years.

Earlier, defending the decision to team up with Mr. Pawar, the BJP leader said during the President’s Rule, there was a constitutional crisis brewing. If the vacuum was not filled quickly, it could have led to a ‘break down’, Mr Fadnavis said.

Asked whether Mr. Pawar’s decision to quit was part of a larger conspiracy and a ‘game’ orchestrated by Mr Sharad Pawar, Mr Fadnavis said that question is for the Pawars to answer.

“At this point we cannot say if it was a mistake to team up with him (Ajit Pawar). We did what we did since he was the chosen elected leader of the NCP’s legislative unit,” Mr Fadnavis said, refuting claims his image as ‘Mr Clean’ had taken a hit due to events of the past few days.

“I am who I am, and the people of this State know it,” Mr. Fadnavis said. The former chief minister added that the probe against Mr. Pawar in the irrigation scam was court-monitored and would continue without any interference by from the government.

At the helm: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray at a meeting of Maha Vikas Aghadi at a hotel in Mumbai on Tuesday.

At the helm: Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray at a meeting of Maha Vikas Aghadi at a hotel in Mumbai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arangement

 

The outgoing chief minister trained his guns on the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine, who he said were coming together only for the lust of power. The only agenda three parties have is to keep the BJP out of power.

“This government will be like a three-wheeler which would not move forward under its now weight. This government will fall under its own complications,” Mr Fadnavis predicted.

“When the Shiv Sena realised the number game gives them a bargaining power, it went around talking to other parties even as no agreement was made by us on giving them the chief minister's post,” he said.

The decision to form the government with Ajit Pawar and then give it up was only the State unit’s, he said seeking to absolve the BJP’s national leadership from any blame for the events.

Political circles in Maharashtra were abuzz that Mr. Ajit Pawar had been cajoled into throwing in the towel following an overnight meeting with NCP chief Mr. Sharad Pawar’s wife Pratibha and daughter Supriya Sule’s husband Sadanand. Other senior NCP leaders also urged him to return to the party.

 

The leaders met Mr. Koshyari after the meeting to stake claim to form the government.

The meeting of three parties joined by independent MLAs and smaller parties such as Samajwadi Party (SP), Swabhimani Party of farmer leader Raju Shetti and Lok Bharti passed a resolution of formation of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), presented by Ekanth Shinde of the Sena. The meeting also passed a resolution expressing gratitude towards the judiciary for ordering the floor test.

After being elected as the leader of the MVA, Mr. Thackeray thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “These are three different parties which poles apart coming together to give a stable government in Maharashtra. I was pained to see the press conference of Devendra Fadnavis this afternoon. I am being supported by those parties against whom I did my politics for last 30 years, but not by those who were with me for all these years,” he said, adding that Sena’s Hindutva does not depend on lies.

Addressing a coterie of Congress and NCP leaders, many of whom have been ministers and chief ministers of the state, Mr Thackeray said that the next Maharashtra government will be of exteremely talented leaders. “I need your cooperation. I won’t be the chief minister who will work within four walls of the office. My government will not work on vengence, but if someone tries to put a roadblock, we will use our strength to clear it,” he said.

 

The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) prepared by the three parties, which will be the basis of the next government, will work on the principles prescribed in the preamble of the constitution, announced by Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai. “Constitutional values will be the centrestage in the preamble. The government will adopt the social, political, religious, differences of the people and work towards inclusive development. It will protect the cultural, religious diversity. Farmers, labourers, all men and women will be the focus of our governance and we will work towards employment generation, industrial growth of the state,” he said.

“Balasaheb Thackeray would have been really happy to see this day. Though bitter enemies in politics, me, him, George Fernandes were friends in personal lives. I am sure that the way he brought small worker to the position of power in Sena, Uddhav too will work to uplift the workers,” said Mr. Pawar.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:20:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uddhav-thackeray-stakes-claim-to-form-government-in-maharashtra/article30090391.ece

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