The month-long political impasse in Maharashtra ended dramatically on Saturday with Devendra Fadnavis returning as the chief minister, backed by the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party.
IMAGE: Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administers oath to Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister of the state in Mumbai. Photograph: @CMOMaharashtra/Twitter
NCP’s Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai at around 7.30 am.
Blaming the Shiv Sena for disrespecting the people’s mandate in last month’s assembly polls, Fadnavis said, “People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after the results, after which the President’s rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a ‘khichdi’ government.”
IMAGE: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis with his deputy Ajit Pawar. Photograph: @CMOMaharashtra/Twitter
“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and J P Nadda for giving me the chance to serve people once again,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader added.
Ajit Pawar backed the BJP and with the support of Independent lawmakers and smaller parties, the saffron party decided to stake claim to form the government, he said.
IMAGE: Fadnavis’s family with Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil attend the swearing-in ceremony. Photograph: @CMOMaharashtra/Twitter
After being sworn-in as the deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar said, “From the day the (poll) results were declared on October 24, no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many problems, including farmers’ issues. So we decided to form a stable government.”
IMAGE: Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari greets Fadnavis after administering the oath to him. Photograph: @CMOMaharashtra/Twitter
The surprise swearing-in is being described as a political masterstroke of Sharad Pawar, who on Thursday night had said there was a consensus among the NCP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government in Maharashtra.
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