Today’s Big Stories
80 hours of twists and turns ends in Devendra Fadnavis' resignation, Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong to now form govt
Merely three days after taking oath, Devendra Fadnavis resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra as NCP’s Ajit Pawar withdrew his party’s support from the BJP-led government on Tuesday. The resignation came ahead of the Supreme Court-mandated floor test today. The prospect of a BJP government failed to materialise as Sharad Pawar not only prevented the BJP from luring any more NCP lawmakers, but also got back almost all of the MLAs who had initially sided with Ajit.
First Thackeray CM: Soon after the development, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was officially announced as the chief ministerial face of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine, also being called the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi. On Tuesday night, Uddhav reached the Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government. The swearing-in ceremony, which was earlier scheduled for December 1, has been brought forward — it will be held at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai on November 28.
Homecoming: Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar seems to have returned to the NCP fold after the BJP government which had formed with his support in the state dismantled. As the coalition leaders reached the governor to stake a claim, Ajit reached Silver Oak, the residence of his uncle Sharad Pawar in south Mumbai, where Supriya Sule, was also present.
Sharp retort: The BJP said that parties "rejected by people" in the Assembly polls have joined hands to "steal" popular mandate. It also rejected the opposition's criticism over its decision to form a government despite lacking the numbers, as GVL Narasimha Rao said it had done so in "good faith" after being assured of the NCP's support.
Pro-tem Speaker: As high drama unfolded, state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari appointed BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar as pro-tem Speaker of the Assembly. Eight-time Wadala MLA Kolambkar was one of the candidates recommended for the post to the governor.
Big guns: The Congress attacked Koshyari, saying he should shed his RSS-BJP cloak and invite its alliance with the Shiv Sena and the NCP to form the government in the state. Party spokesperson Manish Tewari also said the turn of events in Maharashtra has put the role of the President under scanner.
The ultimate kingmaker: While Sharad Pawar seemed to have lost in Maharashtra with his nephew swearing-in as deputy CM under BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, the events seemed to turn in his favour after Ajit withdrew support to the BJP. Recalling Pawar’s political ambitions in 1991, after Rajeev Gandhi death, Rasheed Kidwai writes that with just 54 MPs’ support, he couldn’t become PM, but today, with 54 MLAs, the Maratha strongman has halted the BJP juggernaut in Maharashtra.
The 'reluctant' politician triumphs: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray being a reluctant politician, who was pitchforked into the hurly-burly of politics against his inclinations is a popular misconception, writes Dhaval Kulkarni. A nuanced reading of the enigmatic Uddhav as a politician will disprove this notion. He may have a personal and political personality in dissonance with that of his party which is known for its aggression. But those who know the intensely personal Sena president, claim his style is understated.
Curated and compiled by Chitwan Kaur