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Adding new a twist the ongoing crisis in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, who took the oath as chief minister (CM), has on Tuesday resigned from his post citing lack of numbers after the resignation of his deputy Ajit Pawar.
Speaking with media persons at the Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai, Mr Fadnavis says, "Ajit Pawar handed in his resignation this morning. So we do not have the requisite numbers to continue. Accordingly, I have decided to quit. I will go to the governor and submit my resignation today."
Mr Fadnavis took charge of his new assignment on Monday morning; but Ajit Pawar, who did not take charge, decided to quit and gave his resignation letter to CM on Tuesday morning. He said, "I will go to Raj Bhavan and tender my resignation. I wish them all the best whoever will form the government. But that will be a very unstable government as there is a vast difference of opinions," Mr Fadnavis says referring to the new MahaVikasAaghadi of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.
He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now sit in the opposition and perform in a constructive manner, raise the issues of the farmers, the poor and other sections of society.
Submitted my resignation as Maharashtra CM to Hon Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari ji.— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 26, 2019
Hon Governor asked me to function as caretaker CM till alternative arrangements pic.twitter.com/TI7ER3iBkv
This is the second time in 80 hours that the state was rocked after Mr Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were quietly sworn in during an early morning ceremony on Saturday at Raj Bhavan by governor BS Koshyari, sparking a nationwide furore.
The next day, Sunday, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress moved the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing which was granted and the matter posted for Monday.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court directed open floor test with live telecast of the Fadnavis government in Maharashtra at 5pm on Wednesday after administering NOT administrating elected representative.
Giving specific directions, the apex court had said, "pro-tem speaker should be solely appointed immediately. All elected members should take oath on 27 November 2019, which exercise should be completed before 5pm. Immediately thereafter, the pro-tem speaker should conduct the floor test in order to ascertain whether the respondent no3 (Devendra Fadnavis) has the majority, and these proceedings should be conducted in accordance with law. The floor test will not be conducted by secret ballot. The proceedings have to be live telecast and appropriate arrangements are to be made to ensure the same."
The three-judge bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said, senior-most member of legislative assembly (MLA) of the house should be nominated as the pro-tem speaker and he will administer oath to all elected MLAs on 27th November.
The pro-tem speaker will administer oath to and then conduct floor test without secret ballot, the apex court has said, adding the proceeding of the floor test would be telecast live on TV channels, the bench said.
It said, "We may note that in the present case, oath has not been administered to the elected members even though a month has elapsed since the declaration of election results. In such emergent facts and circumstances, to curtail unlawful practices such as horse trading, to avoid uncertainty and to effectuate smooth running of democracy by ensuring a stable government, we are of the considered opinion that it is necessary to pass certain interim directions in this case. In this context, it is necessary and expedient to conduct the floor test as soon as possible to determine whether the chief minister, who was administered the oath of office, has support of the majority or not."
Last week, in a stunning political development, Maharashtra governor Mr Koshyari had administered the oath of office to BJP leader Mr Fadnavis as the new chief minister and NCP leader Mr Pawar as the new deputy chief minister.
The two were sworn-in at a function in the Raj Bhavan held around 8am in the presence of a few leaders from both BJP and NCP leaders, and other government officials.