Maha CM resigns after Gov. is reduced to minority; Prez's rule looms over Maha
Mumbai (Sept 27, 2014): A day after the Nationalist Congress Party pulled the plug from the Congress-led state government, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan tendered his resignation to the state governor on Friday evening. With Chavan's resignation, the state may be under President's Rule till the new government takes over after the Assembly polls on 15 October.
Dramatic scenes unfolded in Maharashtra late on Thursday as the two grand alliances BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP crumbled almost within a hour of each other. While the BJP called off its 25-year-old alliance with the Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar-led NCP ended its 15-year-old tie with the Congress. In the same NCP press conference on Thursday where the party declared its break off with Congress, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that he was resigning and the his party was also pulling out from the state government.
"I want to tell the people of Maharashtra that we are withdrawing support from the state government. We will inform the Governor of the state," the state's former deputy chief minister had said on Thursday. After the presser, a delegation led by Pawar which included senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal and state NCP president Sunil Tatkare met the governor to inform him of the party's decision.
Senior BJP leader and opposition leader in the legislative assembly, Eknath Khadse also met the Maharashtra governor today demanding the dismissal of the Congress-led government as it was reduced to a minority government. Sources from Congress said the Chavan stepped down from the post on moral grounds as his government was reduced to a minority.
NCP's pull out from the government immediately led to a crisis as the Congress is way short of the 144 mark needed to form a government in the 288-member Assembly as per its poll result in 2009. Following NCP's withdrawal of support, Chavan in a late night press conference had questioned the timing of the break up and wondered if another alliance was in the offing indicating to a possible BJP-NCP alliance in future.
Last day to file nominations for the Maharashtra Assembly poll is tomorrow (Saturday). Reports earlier said that now with NCP and Congress going it alone in the polls, NCP will come all guns blazing against the CM and make sure that he loses from his constituency — South Karad.
Senior NCP leader Praful Patel and Pawar hinted on Thursday that the old alliance with Congress ended because Chavan was not open to any dialogue which would keep the alliance intact.
Owing to his clean image Prithviraj was deputed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take charge as Maharashtra as chief minister after the then chief minister Ashok Chavan allegedly got entangled in the Adarsh building scam. Prithviraj had taken oath of office in Mumbai on 11 November 2010. A mechanical engineer by training, Chavan served as the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions before taking charge in Mantralaya.