Ajit Pawar of NCP sworn in as deputy, turning tables on the Sena deal
GN Bureau | November 23, 2019
In the latest development in the unusual roller-coaster of events in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis of BJP was sworn in as chief minister Saturday morning, with Ajit Pawar of the NCP as deputy chief minister. This came as a surprise since NCP chief Sharad Pawar had been busy sewing up a coalition with the Shiv Sena and the Congress till Friday evening.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was all set to become chief minister, as he had apparently secured support of the unlikely allies, NCP and Congress.
Read the earlier report: Maharashtra set to get first Shiv Sainik CM
Both Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar spoke of the need to provide a stable government to the state and respect the mandate. Fadanvis, the former chief minister, also thanked the party leadership for their continued trust in him.
Prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra.”
BJP chief Amit Shah also tweeted congratulating the two leaders and expressing confidence that they will work towards the development and welfare of the state and achieve new heights of progress.
In the October 21 elections, the BJP won 105 seats, and seeing its weakening performance the partner Sena upped the ante and sought more power. This severed the ties between the two old allies, and opened the scene for various permutations and combinations. When none of the three top parties could form the government, the governor had to recommend the president’s rule ten days ago.
In today’s development, it was not immediately clear if the BJP-NCP tie-up had full blessings of Sharad Pawar. The leaders are expected to share details of their power-sharing formula during the day.
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