Ajit Pawar's resignation a face-saving act: Khadse

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse(Photo by DH)

Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse on Tuesday dubbed Ajit Pawar's resignation as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra a "face-saving act".

Bringing another twist in the seesawing political drama in Maharashtra, NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who had joined hands with the BJP and took oath as deputy CM on November 23, stepped down from his post a short while ago.

The development resulted in the four-day-old BJP-led government losing its majority and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis resigning on Tuesday afternoon.

"Ajit Pawar stepping down as deputy chief minister is a face-saving act. It would have been more humiliating for Ajit Pawar had he waited for tomorrow's floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly. It was expected that he (Ajit Pawar) would quit today," Khadse told reporters.

The senior BJP leader, who is in the political wilderness for the last four years, said his party and the Shiv Sena should have amicably resolved the issues between them, post the verdict of the October assembly elections.

"Had they found some solution, it would have been better for Maharashtra," Khadse said apparently referring to the Sena and BJP parting ways over the former's demand for the chief minister's post.

A known detractor of Fadnavis, Khadse said he was not aware whether the promise of sharing the CM's post for the equal term was made to the Sena by the BJP.

"I feel finding a solution (for the stand-off between the BJP and the Sena) was not an impossible thing," he said.

Ajit Pawar had supported BJP as leader of the 54-member NCP legislature party and with his resignation earlier in the day, the government has lost the majority.

Addressing reporters, Fadnavis said, "We don't have a majority after Ajit Pawar's resignation as Dy CM. I will be submitting my resignation to Governor after this media briefing".

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