Mumbai, November 26 (The New Indian Express): Members of Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, who belong to the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress alliance on Tuesday elected Uddhav Thackeray as the leader of the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ and named him as the Chief Ministerial candidate after the fall of the three-day-old Devendra Fadnavis government.
The swearing-in ceremony which was initially set to be held on 1st December will now be held on November 28 at Shivaji Park, Mumbai.
Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil proposed Thackeray’s name as “the (next) chief minister.”
The MLAs also passed resolution hailing the Supreme Court decision, which kept us the democratic values on the Constitution Day. The Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
A preamble of the Common Minimum Program, that the three parties have agreed to was read at the meeting.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that three representatives of ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ will meet the Governor on Tuesday.
The meeting was held at Trident Hotel here and Uddhav Thackeray said: “I had never dreamed of leading the state. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi and others. We are giving a new direction to the country by keeping faith on each other.”
Thackeray, while speaking at the joint meeting of MLAs, reiterated that he quit the earlier alliance because of the leader who lied about what was decided in their meeting.
“My Hindutva is all about honesty,” he said while criticizing Fadnavis without taking his name.
He also said that the welfare of farmers is the top priority of his government.
After he becomes chief minister, Uddhav will have to seek election to the Maharashtra Assembly or the Legislative Council within six months.
After the meeting, Patil and Thorat along with Shiv Sena legislature leader Eknath Shinde went to Raj Bhavan to meet governor Koshyari to formally stake claim for government formation in the state.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Opposition and called for an open floor test to be held on Wednesday with a new pro-term speaker.
After this move, Ajit Pawar resigned as the deputy CM of the Maharashtra following which CM Devendra Fadnavis tendered his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat has been elected as the party’s legislature wing leader.
Governor Koshyari on Tuesday appointed BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar the pro tem Speaker. Kolambkar said the oath to MLAs will be administered in the House on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Fadnavis had to resign when he couldn’t form government owing to miscalculations regarding Shiv Sena leadership’s stubborn stance. He has thus become the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra who has resigned twice in a month.
“We had said that we won’t engage in horse-trading. That was also the reason why we declined to form government when Shiv Sena didn’t come with us earlier. But, when NCP’s Ajit Pawar decided to co-operate with us. As per our discussion, we formed government. Today Ajit Pawar told me he was quitting due to personal reasons. Ajit Pawar met me and said he could not continue with the alliance for some reasons and he was resigning. Since he has resigned, we too do not have majority,” Fadnavis said while announcing his resignation.
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.
Asked if he thought Ajit Pawar extending support to the BJP was a strategy of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Fadnavis said, “Sharad Pawar will be able to comment on this issue.”
(The featured image at the top shows Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray addressing a meeting of alliance partners)