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Devendra Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar resign as CM, deputy CM ahead of floor test

Devendra Fadnavis said the coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress will be unstable. "The government they form will be crushed under its own weight...It will be like three wheels pulling in different direction. I worry what effect it will have on the state," he said. 

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: November 27, 2019 10:43:09 am
Devendra Fadnavis hands his resignation to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Hours after the Supreme Court directed him to prove majority on the floor of Maharashtra Assembly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said submitted his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Kosiyari.

In a hurriedly convened press conference in Mumbai after his deputy Ajit Pawar resigned from his post, Fadnavis said Maharashtra gave a clear mandate for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, with the BJP winning 70 per cent of the seats it had contested.

Making it clear that the BJP had never agreed for a “50-50 formula” with its pre-poll ally, Fadnavis lashed at Shiv Sena saying their “hunger for power” saw them ally with the Congress.

“We waited for them (Shiv Sena) for a long time but they didn’t respond and instead talked to Congress-NCP. People who never stepped outside Matoshree (Uddhav Thackeray’s residence) to meet anyone were going door to door to make a government with NCP and Congress,” he said.

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Fadnavis, who was chief minister for three days, asserted the coalition government of Sena, NCP and Congress will be unstable.

“The government they form will be crushed under its own weight…It will be like three wheels pulling in different direction. I worry what effect it will have on the state,” he said.

Fadnavis said his government did not have the majority after Ajit Pawar quit. Asked if he thought Ajit Pawar extending support to BJP was a strategy of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis said, “Sharad Pawar will be able to comment on this issue”. “Ajit Pawar told me he was quitting due to personal reasons,” Fadnavis said.

Fadnavis said the BJP will play the role of a constructive Opposition and give voice to the people of Maharashtra. Fadnavis also dismissed allegations that the BJP tried to poach MLAs from other parties.

“We had decided that we will never indulge in horse-trading, that we will never try to break away any MLA. Those who said that we indulge in horse-trading bought the entire horse stable,” he said.

Fadnavis’ second term as chief minister is the shortest tenure in the history of the state. Previously, it was Congress’ P K Sawant who was chief minister for nine days in 1963.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the NCP-Congress-Sena combine which sought to expedite the floor test in Maharashtra. The floor test will be conducted through an open ballot and the proceedings will be telecast live, the court said.

“To curtail unlawful practices such as horse-trading, to avoid uncertainty and to effectuate smooth running of democracy by ensuring a stable government, we are of the considered opinion that it is necessary to pass certain interim directions in this case,” said the three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.

On Monday evening, the Sena-Congress-NCP combine had held a show of strength at a Mumbai hotel, parading 162 MLAs, who took an oath to remain loyal to their parties.

The BJP, however, said it was confident of proving its numbers in the Assembly. “We are sure that we will win the floor test in the Assembly, whenever it is convened. Such parades in a hotel will not help in proving majority on the floor,” BJP leader Ashish Shelar had said.

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