Here's what happened at Devendra Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar's late-night meeting
After the surprise oath-taking of BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and NCP's Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM on Saturday, the two held closed-door meetings at the former's official residence on Sunday. The meeting came on the heels of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance challenging the Maharashtra government formation in the Supreme Court, which has now issued notices to the Centre and state government.
Fadnavis-Pawar addressed farmers' crisis in the meeting: CM office
Speculations ran high with the late-Sunday Fadnavis-Pawar meeting, however, the Chief Minister's office later clarified that the meeting tabled the farmers' crisis in Maharashtra. "Tomorrow it will be further discussed with the Chief Secretary & Finance Secretary," the CMO added. Senior BJP leaders Chandrakant Patil, Vinod Tawade and Girish Mahajan were also present during the meeting, party sources told PTI.
'Discussed various measures for additional support to unseasonal rain-affected farmers'
CM @Dev_Fadnavis and DCM @AjitPawarSpeaks today met and discussed on various measures for additional support assistance to unseasonal rain affected farmers. Tomorrow it will be further discussed with the Chief Secretary Finance Secretary.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) November 24, 2019
Here are the events leading to Fadnavis-Pawar swearing-in
Since the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance fell apart post elections, President's Rule was imposed in the state on November 12 as no party could prove a majority in the Assembly. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP neared conclusion on a three-party alliance but on Saturday morning, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of CM to Fadnavis and Deputy CM to Pawar.
'Stable government' was needed due to farmers' crisis: Fadnavis
After the swearing-in ceremony, Fadnavis said that a "stable government" was necessary as Maharashtra grapples with several issues, including the farmers' crisis. "Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan (mishmash government)," he said, thanking Pawar and NCP for the support.
NCP claimed it didn't support Ajit Pawar; alleged cheating
However, the NCP later clarified that it did not support the BJP or Ajit Pawar's actions. Party chief Sharad Pawar—who is Ajit Pawar's uncle—alleged that the Deputy CM misused his position as party leader to produce false letters of support to form a BJP-NCP government of his own accord. Pawar Sr. claimed he had no hand in his nephew's decisions.
Sena-NCP-Congress moved SC; Centre asked to produce letters of support
Subsequently, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress moved the Supreme Court challenging the Maharashtra Governor's "arbitrary and malafide actions" for "installing a minority BJP government," and demanding a floor test. While the SC denied the request of a floor test, it has asked the Centre to produce letters of support, the Governor's recommendation to revoke President's Rule, and the invitation to Fadnavis to form the government.
52 MLAs returned to NCP, claims party leader
Meanwhile, NCP leader Nawab Malik claimed that a total of 52 legislators have returned to the party, barring two others who remain missing. MLAs Anil Patil and Daulat Daroda were confirmed to have returned Monday morning. The NCP legislators are now lodged at Mumbai's Hotel Hyatt as the possibility of MLA poaching is quite likely. Sena and Congress have also herded their MLAs.