Mumbai: The early morning secretive swearing-in ceremony of Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM in November 2019, helped end the President’s Rule in Maharashtra at that time, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said here on Wednesday.
The debate on that short-lived experiment of Bharatiya Janata Party-NCP saw the two-men regime collapse in barely 80 hours, and a couple of days later Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) CM.
“There was an attempt to form the government.. But one advantage of the exercise was it served to end the President’s Rule in the state. Everybody witnessed what happened thereafter,” said Pawar on that episode.
His nephew Ajit Pawar – who was painted as the villain of that brief political game – has consistently refused to comment on it despite repeated queries by the media.
“I want to just say that, if this kind of exercise had not taken place, would the President’s Rule have been lifted? If President’s Rule had continued, would Thackeray have been appointed as the CM,” Pawar Sr. pointed out.
In response, present Deputy CM Fadnavis – who had earlier claimed that Pawar was behind that incident – said: “If Pawar has said this, then he should also enlighten why and at whose behest the President’s Rule was imposed in the state. Then the entire picture will become clear for all.”
A couple of days ago, former state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had defended himself in Dehradun saying that “there was absolutely nothing wrong” in swearing-in the Fadnavis-Pawar government at that time.
After the two-man regime collapsed in hardly 80 hours, Thackeray was sworn-in as the Shiv Sena, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party’s MVA coalition which lasted till June 2022.