Uddhav Thackeray to be CM as Fadnavis, Ajit resign

In a surprising development and changing number game, BJP's  Devendra Fadnavis and rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar abruptly resigned as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively on Tuesday. 

This was an anti-climax to the month-long political drama in Maharashtra and signals a change in power equations and coming together of opposite ideologies.

The resignations came barely hours after the Supreme Court ordered for a floor test with live telecast on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has been elected as the leader of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi. 

He would be the next chief minister of the state.

After Uddhav was elected, a delegation of top leaders of the three parties and allies went to Raj Bhavan,  met Governor Bhagwat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to form the government.

The swearing-in ceremony would be held on 28 November at the historic Shivaji Park.

In fact, it is at the Shivaji Park where the last rites of Balasaheb Thackeray were carried out and a memorial is located next to the grand statue of legendary Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The BJP failed in the number game after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar completely cornered Ajit.

Sensing defeat and isolated,  Ajit held a meeting with Fadnavis and tendered his resignation.

“Ajit Pawar met me in the and said that for some personal reason he cannot stay in this alliance and resigned. Because of his resignation, we do not have the majority,” Fadnavis said before he drove to Raj Bhavan and handed over resignation to the Governor.

At the meeting of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, the common minimum programme was also adopted.

Saying that he had never dreamt of leading the state, Uddhav thanked Pawar and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"We will make this Maharashtra once again that Maharashtra which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had dreamt of," Uddhav said.

"What happened today is actual democracy....lies are not part of Hindutva...I am ready to answer all questions of Fadnavis...when you need us you hug us and when not you leave us," he said.

Thackeray is likely to have two deputy chief ministers - and NCP's Jayant Patil and Congress's Balasaheb Thorat are the front runners.

The resignation of Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar duo came just 80 hrs after they were sworn in at a near-secret and unprecedented inauguration of office.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the magic figure is 145. The Shiv Sena has 56,  NCP 54,  Congress 44 plus a dozen Independent/Others. The Trimurti combine has staged a show of strength 'WeAre164'.

Late in the night,  a meeting of the Pawar uncle-nephew was underway for a possible rapprochement and smoothen things and iron out differences.

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