Devendra Fadnavis has resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister a day before he was to face a floor test ordered by the Supreme Court. His announcement followed that of Ajit Pawar, who quit as his deputy. "Ajit Pawar gave me his resignation. BJP had decided from the first day we will not indulge in horse trading. We only decided to form government because NCP was with us. Since he has resigned, I will also resign," Mr Fadnavis told reporters.
"The BJP had the people's mandate. We tried to form a government according to the people's mandate but the Shiv Sena realized it was a numbers game and we realized their bargaining power could increase," he added.
The resignation came after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, the two top leaders of the BJP, right after the Supreme Court ordered Mr Fadnavis to face a trust vote.
The BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the Maharashtra Assembly election as an alliance but parted ways after the results were announced over sharing the chief ministerial post. As the parties reached an impasse, Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress came together to stake claim. However, in a surprise move on Saturday, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari swore-in Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as the chief minister and the deputy chief minister respectively. The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine challenged this at the Supreme Court with a petition claiming that the Governor was "duty bound" to study the claim of Mr Fadnavis before inviting him to form the government. This was especially the case when the Sena, NCP and the Congress expressed their intention to stake claim to form the government, they said.
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi last night gathered their MLAs at a 5-star hotel in the suburbs of Mumbai for a show of strength and administered an "oath of allegiance". "I will not fall prey to any offer. I will not help the BJP in anyway. I will not indulge in any anti-party activities," the MLAs repeated, with a palm-out salute as they pledged not to betray their parties.
Here are the LIVE updates on Maharashtra government formation:
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine on Tuesday evening elected Uddhav Thackeray as its nominee for Maharashtra Chief Minister's post, following which the Sena president met the Governor and staked claim to form government of the "Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi".
Mr Thackeray was accompanied by legislature party leaders of the three parties as he headed for Raj Bhavan to meet governor B K Koshyari, a Sena leader said.
"We are submitting a joint statement of staking claim for government formation. We will also produce proof of the support of all the MLAs of the three parties to the governor as part of the mandatory procedure," said the leader.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will be invited to a function where Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will take oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Sena said on Tuesday"
Ideology of Hindutva not on the basis of lies. We will make this Maharashtra once again that Maharashtra which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj dreamt of. For me farmers and people of Maharashtra are more important than people sitting in Delhi. I accept the responsibility given by all of you. I'm not alone but you all are Chief Minister with me. What has happened today is the actual democracy. Together we will wipe off the tears of farmers in the state. I'm ready to answer all questions raised by Devendra Fadnavis. I am not scared of anything. Lies are not part of Hindutva. When needed you hug us and when not needed you leave us. You tried to keep us away.
"I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others. We are giving a new direction to country by keeping faith on each other."
Uddhav Thackeray declared leader of Maha Vikas Aghadi, will be Maharashtra Chief Minister, oath likely on Sunday.
6.07 pm: NCP says collapse of the Fadnavis government has punctured the BJP''s "arrogance".
6.07 pm: Congress says the Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra was based on "defections" and fell like a "house of cards", and asked Governor Koshiyari to invite its alliance with the Shiv Sena and the NCP to form the government in the state.
5.59 pm: BJP says parties "rejected by people" in the Assembly polls have joined hands to "steal" popular mandate. The party said the decision to form the government despite lacking numbers was done so in "good faith" after being assured of the NCP''s support by its leader Ajit Pawar.
5.52 pm: Maharashtra governor convenes Assembly session, MLAs to be sworn in on Wednesday.
5.50 pm: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to be next CM, NCP leader Nawab Malik says, adding Sena, NCP and Cong will continue their alliance for the next 20-25 years.
5.06 pm: BJP''s Kalidas Kolambkar appointed as pro-tem Speaker of Maharashtra assembly.
4.34 pm: Fadnavis submits resignation as Maharashtra CM to Governor BS Koshyari
3.44 pm: CM Fadnavis tells press conference that he will go to Raj Bhawan to tender resignation.
He said Shiv Sena threatened BJP over Chief Minister's post.
3.42 pm: NCP''s Ajit Pawar gave his resignation leading to realisation we don''t have the numbers: Fadnavis
3.36 pm: Maharashtra poll mandate was more for BJP than Shiv Sena: Devendra Fadnavis at a press conference.
3.20 pm: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has resigned, says Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
3.18 pm: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut claims Ajit Pawar is now with Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance.
3.16 pm: Uddhav Thackeray to be chief minister for five years: Sanjay Raut after meeting of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance leaders
3.01 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah, who is also the Union home minister, and the party''s working president J P Nadda after the SC orders a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday.
2.29 pm: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticises Congress for boycotting the Constitution Day celebrations in Parliament and said it is an "insult" to Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
2.17 pm: Ahead of floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly, Congress calls for appointment of senior-most lawmaker in assembly as pro-tem speaker, saying precedents and conventions should be followed.
1.18 pm: All newly elected BJP MLAs in Maharashtra have been asked to reach Mumbai to attend a meeting which will be addressed by Fadnavis on Tuesday evening.
12.34 pm: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh says the way the Centre behaved in Maharashtra, not certain constitutional norms safe in hands of present establishment.
12.18 pm: Congress president Sonia Gandhi expresses confidence of a win in Maharashtra Assembly floor test.
12.07 PM: Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde says Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should resign as the Uddhav Thackeray''s party-led coalition has the support of "162 MLAs" to prove majority in the Maharashtra Assembly.
11.50 am: The BJP says floor test in the Maharashtra assembly on Wednesday will establish the position of different parties in its entirety.
Its national spokesperson Nalin Kohli also rejects the contention that the SC order is a "setback" to the BJP.
11.46 am: Security stepped up around the Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai. Elaborate police arrangement has been made to avoid any untoward incident outside the premises.
11.39 am: NCP chief Sharad Pawar says he is grateful to SC for upholding democratic values.
11.32 am: Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Shiv Sena, skips a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on the Constitution Day to mark their protest against the BJP''s alleged high-handedness in Maharashtra.
11.22 am: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut says truth cannot be defeated.
11.03 am: End of BJP''s game, says NCP on Supreme Court''s ruling over Maha political drama
11 am: Cong leader Prithviraj Chavan says his party, Sena and NCP are satisfied with SC order of floor test in Maha assembly, Constitution has been respected on Constitution Day.
10.42 am: SC directs Maha Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to ensure all elected members of the House are sworn in on Wednesday itself.
10.39 am: Floor test in Maharashtra Assembly for Chief Minister Fadnavis to prove his majority in the assembly will be held on Wednesday: SC
9.14 am: In an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ''Saamana'', the party lashes out at Maharashtra governor over the hush hush swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Uddhav Thackeray will be Maharashtra's new Chief Minister, a senior leader of his Shiv Sena announced today after rapid changes triggered by a Supreme Court order to the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority in a floor test tomorrow."
Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in on Saturday, in a sudden oath ceremony at 7.50 am that was challenged in the Supreme Court as undemocratic and unconstitutional.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member state assembly and needed 40 more for a majority. Mr Fadnavis claimed the support of 170 MLAs, but a major component was the presumptive support of 54 NCP MLAs, as claimed by Ajit Pawar, their leader in the assembly.
Ajit Pawar's overnight switch was key to the BJP's surprise comeback. He displayed confidence that he would have the support of all 54 MLAs.
Subsequently, nearly all NCP MLAs appeared to return to the party fold and more than 50 also participated in a show of strength at a five-star hotel in Mumbai last evening. It became increasingly apparent that the Ajit Pawar was isolated within his own party and that the BJP may not have enough MLAs after all.
Yesterday, Mr Fadnavis formally assumed charge, signed a relief cheque and also held the first meeting of his new term. But Ajit Pawar did not officially join. He was also missing from the Chief Minister's meeting last evening and he skipped a memorial for 26/11 martyrs this morning.
Devendra Fadnavis has resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister a day before he was to face a floor test ordered by the Supreme Court. His announcement followed that of Ajit Pawar, who quit as his deputy."
More pointers from Devendra Fadnavis's press meet where he resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister a day before the floor test:
- We work for the people and they are the ones who matter. We in the BJP don't indulge in wrong practices.
- These other parties have just 1 agenda - keep the BJP out. That is all they care about. We care about the people and the development of the country. We will continue our good work. We will be a strong and effective opposition.
- The mandate was for the BJP. The numbers say so absolutely clearly. This has not been respected.
- I am happy and thankful to my party for trusting in me. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and working president JP Nadda for their trust in me.
"Looking at the current scenario, I also resign as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I thank the people of Maharashtra for giving me the opportunity to serve them. We worked for everyone, and every sector. There was a lot of work done in the last 5 years, and I am very happy with it," Mr Fadnavis at press meet
BREAKING: Devendra Fadnavis Resigns As Maharashtra Chief Minister After Deputy Ajit Pawar Quits.
- As you all are aware, it was the BJP which got the people's mandate.
- But since we fought lesser seats, we got the number that we have. Should we have contested all the seats, it would have been a different story.
- But Shiv Sena knew that contesting together by dividing seats would only help their bargaining power.
- Let me make it clear - We never ever promised them what they claimed after the result was declared.
- The Shiv Sena wanted something that was not negotiable. They started talking to other parties - the NCP and Congress.
- Those who didn't come out of Matoshree went out to meet other party leaders. We were never even called.
- We told the Governor at the start that we do not have the numbers by ourselves, since we contested together with the Shiv Sena, which now broke that alliance. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress - 3 parties with completely different ideologies - came together just so that they could keep the BJP out. The common minimum programme is just an eyewash.
- Ajit Pawar had a letter of support, but then things changed. This lead to his resignation earlier this afternoon after the latest developments.
Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat has been elected as the party's legislature wing leader, the Congress said on Tuesday. AICC general secretary in-charge for Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge made the announcement at a meeting of the party MLAs held at a hotel.
"The Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has approved the name of Balasaheb Thorat as the Congress Legislature Party leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly," Mr Kharge told the MLAs.
Mr Thorat is an eight-term MLA and currently heads the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah met this morning, immediately after the Supreme Court ordered Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority tomorrow, sources say.
The two top leaders of the ruling BJP reportedly discussed the options after the Supreme Court order, whether Devendra Fadnavis should face the test of strength or whether he should quit.
After the meeting, a message was given to Devendra Fadnavis, sources say, but it is not known what.
Mr Fadnavis is expected to address a press conference at 3.30 pm and it is widely expected that he will announce his resignation, just like his deputy Ajit Pawar.
Ajit Pawar has resigned as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra ahead of a floor test ordered by the Supreme Court tomorrow. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who will address the media at 3.30 pm, may also resign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, who were at a function in the parliament to mark the Constitution Day, met immediately after the Supreme Court order and "conveyed a message to Devendra Fadnavis", say sources. It is not known what the message was.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to address the media at 3.30 pm today. The Supreme Court today has ordered a floor test to be conducted by 5pm tomorrow in the Maharashtra Assembly.
Speaking about the Supreme Court verdict, lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "This is an important decision on the occasion of Constitution Day. The court had to function with regret and sorrow. Who had asked for 15 days? Who was asking for more time? We were talking about the floor test and the court refused to give us time. I have myself appeared before the court in the Karnataka and Manipur cases. Not one letter with the signature was there. How can the Governor ignore the claim made by three parties? No one said how nine cases were dropped. This is the work of the interim chief minister. The senior-most MLA is appointed as the pro tem Speaker irrespective of which party he belongs to. It won't be right for me to take a name."
Taking a dig at the anti-BJP combine's show of strength on Monday at a Mumbai hotel, BJP leader Ram Madhav said, "Majority has to be proven not in hotels or elsewhere but on the floor of the House. We're confident that on the floor of the house our government will be able to prove its majority."
With the Supreme Court ordering floor test in Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, NCP MP Majeed Memon took a swipe at the BJP saying after the floor test, the government in Maharashtra, which was "formed in the dark", will be "exposed".
"Tomorrow, the truth will come out. The government which was formed in the dark will be exposed in the light. It will not be able to tolerate the light and will fall. As far as the constitutional process is concerned, it will be done tomorrow," he said.
"We believe that we have more than 150 MLAs, all of whom will repeat the oath that they took yesterday. There was a rebellion in our house, there was betrayal, but we have rectified it. Sharad Pawar has decided that we will not have any relationship with the BJP," Mr Memon said.
The BJP on Tuesday said it respects the Supreme Court's direction calling for a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, and expressed confidence that the party will prove its majority.
"We respect the court order. We are ready to prove majority and we will show it," Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told reporters in Mumbai.
The BJP on Tuesday said the floor test in Maharashtra assembly on Wednesday will establish the position of different parties in its entirety.
National spokesperson Nalin Kohli rejected the contention that the Supreme Court order on the floor test on Wednesday is a "setback" to the BJP, asserting that "no judicial pronouncement on issues of the Constitution can be a setback to any political party".
Judicial orders only strengthen the Constitution, he added.
On this Constitution Day the SC has rightly upheld the democratic spirit enshrined in the Constitution. The illegitimate CM Devendra Fadnavis must resign, tweeted former chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan.
We all welcome the interim order by Hon SC. On this Constitution Day the SC has rightly upheld the democratic spirit enshrined in the Constitution. I am sure BJP's desperation & lust of power will come to an end by tomorrow. The illegitimate CM @Dev_Fadnavis must resign.- Prithviraj Chavan (@prithvrj) November 26, 2019
Maharashtra verdict a tribute to Dr BR Ambedkar, tweets NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.
I am grateful to Hon'ble SC for upholding democratic values and constitutional principles. It's heartening that the Maharashtra Verdict came on the #ConstitutionDay, a Tribute to Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar!- Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) November 26, 2019
Sources say, while it is the Governor's prerogative to appoint a pro-tem speaker, the secretary of Vidhan Bhavan has already submitted three senior most members of the House in chronological order.
1. Congress MLA Balasaheb Thorat
2. Congress MLA K C Padavi
3. BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar
As per seniority, Balasaheb Thorat can be the protem speaker for the floor test but it is the governor's prerogative.
Supreme Court: As per established norms, the senior most member must be called for assuming the role of protem Speaker, after which there must be an open ballot and the same should be captured in a video recording so as to ensure transparency.
Supreme Court: It is necessary and expedient to conduct the floor test as soon as possible to determine whether the chief minister, who was administered the oath of office, has the support of the majority or not. Since the elected members of the Legislative Assembly are yet to take oath as
specified in the III Schedule of the Constitution, and the Speaker is also yet to be elected, we request the Governor of the State of Maharashtra to ensure that a floor test be held on 27.11.2019.
Supreme Court: In the present case, oath has not been administered to the elected members even though a month has elapsed since the declaration of election results. In such emergent facts and circumstances, 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.
Supreme Court said: In a situation wherein, if the floor test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so.
Honourable supreme court has accepted our prayer. MLAs will be administered the oath beginning 11 am and the floor test will take place at 5pm. Court has upheld the respect of the Constitution on Constitution Day: Prithviraj Chavan
सत्यमेव जयते- Nawab Malik (@nawabmalikncp) November 26, 2019
बीजेपी का खेल खत्म ।
The MLAs will take oath tomorrow by 5pm following which the floor test will be conducted. The pro tem speaker will have to be appointed immediately by the Governor, says Supreme Court
Maharashtra floor test on November 27th, orders Supreme Court. The floor test should be videographed and there will be no secret ballot, the court said. Pro tem speaker will administer oath to MLAs.
Supreme Court: The boundaries between the jurisdiction of Courts and Parliamentary independence have been contested for a long time. This case pertains to one such situation, wherein this Court is called upon to adjudicate and maintain democratic values and facilitate the fostering of the citizens' right of good governance.
The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have challenged in the Supreme Court the closing of nine corruption cases in the irrigation scam allegedly involving NCP's Ajit Pawar, who switched sides and became Deputy Chief Minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government on Saturday.
Hitting out at the BJP-Ajit Pawar government in Maharashtra, the Congress on Monday alleged that the only decision it has taken in "public interest" was to close corruption cases and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.
The attack came after the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) said on Monday it had closed the probe into the alleged irregularities in nine irrigation projects in the state, adding that none of those was linked to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took a dig at the Prime Minister over the issue, saying he gave an impressive speech on corruption in Jharkhand and it is being implemented in Maharashtra at the same time.
"Now his ''One Nation, One Slogan'' is - ''Come with us and all sins will be washed away''," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
अभी- अभी प्रधानमंत्री जी झारखंड में भ्रष्टाचार पर मनमोहक भाषण दे रहे हैं और उसी समय महाराष्ट्र में उसे लागू किया जा रहा है।
अब इनका One Nation, One Slogan है- 'हमारे साथ आओ, सारे पाप धुल जाएँगे'।
The BJP hit back at the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP combine over show of strength of their MLAs at a hotel in Mumbai on Monday evening and said his party will win the "photo finish" race during floor test in the assembly.
Addressing a press conference, BJP leader and former Maharashtra minister Ashish Shelar taunted the Sena-NCP-Congress for "identification parade" of their MLAs and termed it as a cruel joke on the people of the state and democracy.
This cannot be equated with a floor test in the assembly, he said, minutes after the unprecedented public parade of what the three parties claimed were 162 MLAs at a high-end hotel here.
At the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress show of strength at a Mumbai five-star hotel on Monday evening, there were 158 MLAs not 162 as the three parties declared in posters, tweets and hashtags. But the four absentees are accounted for, tweeted Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi after the event that also starred Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar.