A Tuesday morning meeting between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar at the Trident hotel in Mumbai proved to be the last nail for Devendra Fadnavis's four-day-old BJP government.
It was after the meeting that Ajit Pawar resigned and in a few hours, Devendra Fadnavis also announced his resignation.
According to news agency IANS, NCP MP Supriya Sule, legislature party leader Jayant Patil and Praful Patel were also present at the meeting between the Pawars. All the top NCP leaders are believed to have persuaded Ajit Pawar that if he comes back to the NCP fold, his prestige will be restored.
Sharad Pawar is believed to have told Ajit Pawar either to resign or abstain during the floor test in the Assembly on Wednesday, IANS reported.
Sources also told the news agency that the senior Pawar had sent emissaries to his nephew at least five times in three days, knowing that Ajit Pawar will succumb to his pressure.
On Saturday, the day when Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn-in, Sharad Pawar sent Hasan Mushrif, then Jayant Patil and then Sunil Tatkare to fix a meeting with his nephew.
On Sunday and Monday too, Sharad Pawar sent Chaggan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil to meet Ajit Pawar and ask him to reconsider the decision.
But it was Praful Patel, a close aide of Sharad Pawar and the final emissary, who made Ajit Pawar budge and succeeded in persuading him to resign.
After the Tuesday meeting with Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar finally decided to quit, leading to the end of the four-day-old Fadnavis government.
During his press conference, outgoing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that after Ajit Pawar had quit citing personal reasons and since the BJP did not have a majority, he is also resigning.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had ordered the BJP government to face a floor test on Wednesday that was to be telecast live.
(With inputs from IANS)