Mumbai: With the ignominious exit of CM Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, just 80 hours after assuming office, Uddhav Thackeray is set to preside over the 3-party combo government.
The swearing-in will be on November 28 at Shivaji Park. Jayant Patil of the Nationalist Congress Party and Balasaheb Thorat of the Congress are tipped to be the deputy CMs in the new dispensation.
Tuesday was Constitution Day, and in fitness of things, the Supreme Court ordered Fadnavis government to prove its majority on the floor of the assembly on November 27, insisting on open voting and live telecast of the floor test.
This direction from the top court scuttled the plans of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had thought of electing its leader through secret ballot and, at the same time, concealing the identities of those legislators from other parties who would have supported it.
While judicial directions cornered the fledgling Fadnavis government, the strategy of the NCP to isolate Ajit Pawar worked. On Monday night, all NCP legislators had returned to the party fold, leaving Ajit marooned.
After the ruling, Ajit resigned as deputy chief minister; with that, the realisation dawned on the BJP that the promise of a majority too had been belied.
A bellicose BJP, which had claimed it would win the trust vote at 11am after the court had spoken, had to come before the media at 4pm instead and announced the resignation.
The legislators of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP and other allies met at a hotel in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in the evening and officially approved the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi; they also unanimously passed a resolution electing Uddhav Thackeray as their leader.
It was announced that Uddhav would be CM as per the directions of NCP president Sharad Pawar. Pawar was hailed as the architect of this alliance.
NCP state president Jayant Patil moved the resolution to elect Uddhav as leader of the MVA and the next CM of the state. "I recently met Uddhav personally, for the first time in my life.
I found him to be simple and honest. Though doubts are being raised about our alliance, the MVA will remain, for at least the next 15 years. We have just immersed a 1.5-day Ganpati (an indirect reference to Fadnavis).
I am proposing the name of Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray as the leader and next chief minister of the state," Patil said.
Congress state President Balasaheb Thorat seconded the resolution. "Today is a historic day, as we usher in a new era. Today is Constitution Day. The Constitution gave us secularism and socialism.
The Supreme Court today upheld the Constitution of India. We are happy that Uddhav will lead the government," Thorat announced.
Balasaheb would have been happy: Pawar
Balasaheb Thackeray would have been happy, was Sharad Pawar's first reaction. "Balasaheb Thackeray always thought of justice for the poorest of the poor. The government led by Uddhav will be for the last man standing," Pawar said.