The Maharashtra political high drama is likely to take a turn in favour of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine on Wednesday, paving the way for Uddhav Thackeray to take over as the new Chief Minister soon.
On Saturday early morning, less than 12 hours after the three-party alliance announced it was ready to form the government, an unexpected combination of BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar were sworn-in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively.
However, within hours of the Supreme Court ordering floor test through open ballot on Wednesday morning, Ajit Pawar and Fadnavis resigned, making it clear they did not have majority support.
In the recently-concluded elections to the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, BJP won 105 MLA seats, while its pre-poll ally Shiv Sena got 56 seats. The Shared Pawar-led NCP bagged 54 seats while its alliance partner Congress finished with 44 seats. Smaller parties and Independents altogether won 29 seats. The magic number in the assembly is 145 and the Sena-NCP-Cong clique claims to have support of 162 MLAs. The three parties even
organized a show of strength at a hotel in Mumbai on Sunday evening in front of the media.
Uddhav will be the first person from Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray family to don the Chief Minister’s mantle. His son Aaditya, who was spotted offering prayers at Siddhivinayak Temple, will take oath as MLA for the first time as well.
Governor BS Koshyari, in a letter addressed to Uddhav, has asked him to prove majority by December 3. “I have noted that Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has 166 number of elected members,” the letter released by Raj Bhavan said.
Uddhav is currently not an MLA. He will have to become one within six months of taking oath as Chief Minister. Speculation is rife that he will contest from Dadar, which is a Sena stronghold.