Thursday, 29 September, 2022
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Devendra Fadnavis wanted to do a Yediyurappa & quit on the floor of House, but BJP said no

Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Maharashtra chief minister Tuesday, days after he assumed office in a shock overnight coup.

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New Delhi: Two factors together forced the BJP leadership to seek Devendra Fadnavis’ resignation as Maharashtra chief minister Tuesday — the Supreme Court order directing a floor test for Wednesday and NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s communication that he won’t be able to help shore up the numbers. 

“The Supreme Court order changed everything. Ajit Pawar told us he would not be able to get the numbers within such a short time,” said a senior BJP leader. “It was then decided by the central leadership not to linger on and resign.” 

The Supreme Court order was followed by a flurry of activity within the BJP as the party weighed its options in Maharashtra,

Even the central leadership took stock of the situation, with PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and working party president J.P. Nadda discussing the matter at Parliament House around 2 pm, just about an hour and a half before Fadnavis’ press conference. 

“At the meeting, the situation was discussed minutely and all aspects were taken up. But it was felt that there was no point dragging feet at a time when Ajit Pawar didn’t have the support of the majority of NCP MLAs,” said a second leader. 

“Shah even spoke to some leaders in Mumbai and it was finally decided that Fadnavis will hold a press conference and resign publicly to ensure the message of the party is also conveyed to the public,” the leader added. 

Also Read: BJP’s overnight coup didn’t happen overnight at all, and Sharad Pawar likely knew about it

‘Party image dented’

Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were Saturday sworn in as chief minister and deputy minister, respectively, in a shock claim to office just hours before the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress alliance was to assume the state’s reins.

The alliance, which goes by the name ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, subsequently moved the Supreme Court, which Tuesday ordered a floor test.

Ajit had reportedly promised to tap the NCP pool to help the BJP form an alliance government, but failed to deliver, and both he and Fadnavis ended up resigning. 

Fadnavis’ resignation marked the second time in just over a year that the BJP has had to resign from office within days after ambitiously staking claim to form government in a state. The first instance was in Karnataka after the May 2018 assembly polls.

The entire episode, sources in the Maharashtra BJP said, has dented the image of the party and many are blaming Fadnavis saying he should have assessed the situation better. 

“The entire episode was being watched closely by BJP president Amit Shah. Soon after the swearing-in, even PM congratulated Pawar and Fadnavis. So it seems the BJP, at that point, was quite confident,” said a third source. “But this has only raised eyebrows on the entire machinery that was in charge of the operation.” 

A fourth source pointed out that the episode has “brought to the fore” the BJP’s inability to manage its alliances. 

Earlier in the day, soon after the apex court ordered the floor test, the Maharashtra BJP started carrying out calculations and a core group met at the residence of Fadnavis. 

“At that point, it was decided that the BJP will hold a meeting of all the MLAs in the evening and carry out a show of strength, too, like the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress had done Monday,” one of the sources said. 

“After taking stock of the entire situation, Fadnavis was of the view that in case they were not able to manage the numbers, he would resign on the floor of the House,” the source added. “Like B.S. Yediyurappa resigned on the floor of the Karnataka house (in 2018) after delivering a long speech to gain sympathy votes, Fadnavis. But the idea was turned down by the central leadership.” 

Another source said there was a general consensus in the party that there was no need to delay the resignation. “Jab humari dulhan (Shiv Sena) ko NCP bhagaa ke le gayi toh ab wait karne ka kya matlab. Humein jaldi resign karna chahiye (What’s the point of waiting when the NCP has run off with our ally Shiv Sena? We should resign soon,” the leader added. 

Fadnavis’ resignation paves the way for the installation of a NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena government that is likely to be headed by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. 

Also Read: Behind Ajit Pawar’s call to resign — a nudge from ‘Pratibha tai’, Sharad Pawar’s wife


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  1. The most unhappy or angry man must be Mr Modi. He had congratulated Fadnavis and Ajit Powar within minutes of their swearing in. He was possibly the force behind the all-night manoeuvring, otherwise it wouldn’t have succeeded in the first place. Not Amit Shah, but Narendra Modi was the Chanakya in this case.

  2. Given the furtive, clandestine nature of the swearing in ceremony, there was no possibility of generating a sympathy wave when the government fell. In a way, Shri Ajit Pawar cut everyone’s agony short. Losing a vote of confidence on the floor of the Assembly would have been even more painful. 2. Shri Devendra Fadnavis could outclass Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde, Bawankule. Not Shri Sharad Pawar.

    • Really Sir. Senior Pawar has no clout in all of Maharashtra even. The only loser in the whole thing is SS and they walked in to Sharad Pawar’s trap and not BJP. Can the core constituency of SS digest them standing with Sonia? The answer lies there. BJP will tighten its screws on the Pawar gang and the chin music will start only now.

    • Really. The real Chanakya has proved himself in 2 general elections and Senior Pawar has no pan influence across Maharashtra. In fact he never crossed 100 in Maharashtra. Fadnavis has the clean image and only loser in the who affair seems to be SS. They will loose everything with this alliance

      • Agreed! SS is the biggest loser but ironically they are celebrating that. The best strategy for SS would have been to undertake a thorough review of their politics and become more acceptable to the people and increase their footprint in Maharashtra. However, they were after CM’s post and becoming an elder brother in the alliance. SS was never an elder brother because their strike has never crossed 50% i.e. they have never won 50%+ of the seats they contested.

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