Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi

Shiv Sena head Uddhav Thackeray will lead a Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra after Devendra Fadnavis resigned as chief minister conceding that the BJP does not have the requisite majority, barely three days after taking oath in a dramatic early morning closed-door ceremony in the Raj Bhavan.

Thackeray is likely to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday at Shivaji Park, Mumbai.

Fadnavis’ resignation came within hours of the Supreme Court ordering that his government must submit itself to a floor test on Wednesday to be conducted by a pro tem Speaker.

“In a situation wherein, if the floor test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so,” said a bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna. It did so while citing the apex court’s Karnataka order.

BJP’s ally Ajit Pawar, who took oath as deputy CM along with Fadnavis last Saturday, resigned soon after the order. This left Fadnavis with no choice as Pawar was to bring in a clutch of MLAs from the Nationalist Congress Party to prove majority of the alliance. The BJP brass in New Delhi had also reached the same conclusion after the SC order and instructed Fadnavis accordingly.

Fadnavis later claimed that Ajit Pawar had resigned for “personal reasons”, while announcing his own resignation. “Since we have decided that we will not form a government by breaking any party and do any horse trading, and since Ajit has resigned, I too have decided to submit my resignation to the governor,” he said.

The move paved the way for the MVA — a diverse coalition of Shiv Sena, NCP, the Congress and smaller parties such as the Samajwadi Party — to form the next government. The MVA on Monday had in a show of strength paraded what it claimed were 162 MLAs. The hallway mark in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly is 145. The BJP is the largest party with 105 members while Shiv Sena and NCP have 56 and 54 MLAs, respectively.

The alliance has already agreed that Uddhav Thackeray will be their chief minister. The remaining details were being worked out through consultations.

The key figure holding the alliance together is NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, who has been in constatnt touch with both Shiv Sena and the Congress to keep them on the same page besides ensuring there is no split within his own party.

The Congress, Shiv Sena and the NCP are expected to prove their majority soon. With the BJP having withdrawn from the contest, the floor test could now happen after the swearingin of the MLAs.

The decision, people in the know said, will be taken by the governor as the Supreme Court order was specifically meant for the Fadnavis government. These details were still being looked into, they added.

No comments: