Guessing game ends: Fadnavis back as CM after midnight drama -
Guessing game ends: Fadnavis back as CM after midnight drama
Posted 23 Nov 2019 05:29 PM


When people switched off their TV sets Friday night, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was to be the next Maharashtra chief minister. By the time newspapers were delivered to people on Saturday, the script of government formation had changed in Maharashtra.

In a big and stunning political development in the politics of Maharashtra state, Governor B.S. Koshyari on Saturday morning administered the oath of office to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister.
The two were sworn-in at a function in the Raj Bhavan held around 8 a.m. in the presence of a few BJP and NCP leaders, and other government officials.

After the result of the Maharashtra assembly elections in October, the Sena’s insistence on rotating chief ministership that was opposed by the BJP’s state unit as well as the party high command led to a series of backchannel talks with other parties including the NCP.

The tide flipped in favor of BJP after a faction of National Congress Party (NCP) broke away under Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, to join BJP, in the last moment.
The twist is dramatic, given that NCP Chief Sharad Pawar had yesterday announced that the new Maharashtra govt will be led by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

There are two theories on how this may have happened.

One, Ajit Pawar fled with the letter of support. It is being said that when the Pawars were in discussion with the Shiv Sena and the Congress leaders in Mumbai on Friday evening - the letter of support listing the names of the newly-elected MLAs of the NCP was with Ajit Pawar.
Some people speculate that the letter meant for the three-party alliance was allegedly used to support a Fadnavis-led government on Saturday morning.

The presence of Ajit Pawar at the late Friday evening meeting of the three parties was confirmed by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. He said Ajit Pawar was at the meeting to finalize the common minimum program but he suddenly left.

Now according to the second theory- BJP Dropped Hints of Closeness to NCP.

Two unexpected developments took place earlier this week. Despite being in the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Sharad Pawar and his party on the occasion of the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha.

Then two days ago, Sharad Pawar had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament and is said to have apprised him about farmers' distress in Maharashtra. The meeting at the Prime Minister's chamber in Parliament came amid uncertainty over government formation in Maharashtra where talks were on between the NCP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena for an alliance.
PM Modi and Amit Shah held separate meeting after the Pawar-Modi meet that day. This had led to speculation that some agreement might have been reached between Pawar and Modi.

In retrospect, Pawar and Modi are known to have a great personal equation. PM Modi has publicly praised Pawar as his political guru and made it a point not to launch a vicious attack against him during the State election campaign.

This Saturday morning perfectly fits their style of politics. After all, only a few days ago, Sanjay Raut had said, "It will take ages to have a full measure of Sharad Pawar.”

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