Maharashtra CM and Deputy CM Quits Before Floor Test

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Devendra Fadnavis has vacated the position of Chief Minister in Maharashtra soon after the top court orders a floor test to confirm the majority for government formation in Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar too has resigned from the position of Deputy Chief Minister.

Fadnavis said ‘Ajit Pawar’ gave me his letter for resignation, and ‘BJP had decided from the first day we will not indulge in horse-trading. We only decided to form government because NCP was with us. Since he has resigned, I will also resign’.

He also said that ‘The BJP had the people’s mandate’, and ‘we tried to form a government according to the people’s mandate but the Shiv Sena realized it was a numbers game and we realized their bargaining power could increase’.

Devendra Fadnavis’ resignation came after he met the two top leaders of the BJP party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, Home Minister soon after the Supreme Court of India passed the judgement of Floor Test that was to be held on the 27th of November 2019 no later than 5:00 PM.

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The three discussed whether to go through with the floor test that was due tomorrow and had to be live telecasted or go ahead and resign right now as there was a possibility that NCP’s MLAs could backout.

On Saturday morning, both Dadnavis and Pawar swore the oath for Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister position respectively at around 8:00 am. This was later challenged in the top court by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (The Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena alliance) on the accounts of being unconstitutional and undemocratic.

In the 2019’s Maharashtra Assembly Election, BJP won the maximum of seats (105) out of 288, and only needed support from 40 MLAs to form the government. At the time of swearing the for the CM post, Fadnavis claimed that the government has support of around 170 MLAs in the assembly, however major chunk of that number (50) came from Ajit Pawar as NCP’s MLAs.

Ajit Pawar sudden switch from Shiv Sena and Congress alliance to join hands with the saffron party was surprising. Though, majority of the MLAs went back with Sharad Pawar and were even seen at the 5 star of hotel in Mumbai where MLAs of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi met and pledged the ‘oath of allegiance’.

Suddenly, Ajit Pawar was found to be isolated by his own party and its members.

Yesterday, the top court witnessed an 80 minute hearing on the petition by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi and said that the court will announce the decision early morning (i.e. today morning). Today morning, the Supreme Court announced its judgement, ordering the Fadnavis government to prove their number by a floor test which will not be done by secret ballot, and also will be live telecasted no later than 5:00 pm on 27thNovember 2019.

The Supreme Court had said ‘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’. The court added ‘an immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so.’

On Monday, Fadnavis assumed the office and also signed a relief cheque. However Ajit Pawar did not join the meeting nor did he assume the office. Additionally, Ajit PAwar missed the memorial for the 26/11 attack martyrs which held this morning. His absence cemented the speculations that Sharad PAwar along with other senior leader of NCP were trying to bring Ajit Pawar back on their side. Additionally, as Ajit Pawar handed his resignation to Devendra Fadnavis, the discussion went for about an hour.

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