A year after former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis teamed up with Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar in an overnight coup to form the government, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader on Monday said the “incident need not be remembered” anymore, reported PTI.
In an unexpected turn of events on November 23, last year, Fadnavis had taken oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra early in the morning, with Pawar as his deputy. This development came amid a political imbroglio, as just a day before, NCP leader Sharad Pawar announced that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine had come to an agreement that Uddhav Thackeray would be chief minister for the next five years. Weeks of back-and-forth had gone into this announcement.
However, Ajit Pawar resigned just 80 hours later, after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the state Assembly. The Shiv Sena -led Maha Vikas Aghadi administration assumed office a few days later.
Fadnavis, talking to reporters in Aurangabad on Monday, sought to downplay the entire episode and said that if the Thackeray-led government falls, the oath ceremony of the dispensation that would replace it would not take place at dawn “as was the case a year ago”. “But such incidents need not be remembered,” the BJP leader added.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, rejected the possibility and said the MVA will retain power after the next Assembly election too.“That dawn will never break again,” Raut told reporters. “It was not a dawn. It was darkness. You [the BJP] will not see the rays of power in the next four years at least. The elections will be held after four years. After that we will win again.”
The 2019 election
The BJP had won 105 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the results of which were announced on October 24, 2019. The Shiv Sena, which was in an alliance with the BJP, won 56 seats. Despite having enough seats to form a government together, the two allies bickered over power-sharing – the chief minister’s post and Cabinet portfolios – resulting in the Shiv Sena starting negotiations with the ideologically different Congress and NCP instead.
With no outcome in sight then, the Centre imposed President’s Rule in Maharashtra on November 12. The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP continued negotiations to form an alliance, and by evening,Sharad Pawar announced that Thackeray had been unanimously chosen to head the new government. Thus, the oath-taking ceremony of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar early on November 23 came as a surprise.
Thackeray took oath as the chief minister of the MVA government on November 28. Ajit Pawar, who switched sides, is Thackeray’s deputy.