Mumbai: The stage was set. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and the Congress had agreed to lend support to Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena as the chief minister of Maharashtra. In a dramatic move in the wee hours of Saturday, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis along with NCP’s Ajit Pawar headed to the Governor’s office. Ajit Pawar and other leaders from the party broke away to ensure Devendra Fadnavis takes oath as CM and Ajit Pawar as deputy CM.

The President's Rule was revoked minutes before BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra chief minister in the morning. President's rule was imposed in the state on November 12 after no parties could prove majority. Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla issued a notification stating that President Ram Nath Kovind has revoked President's Rule "in relation to the state of Maharashtra with effect from the 23rd day of November, 2019".

Congress has convened an emergency meeting at the party office in Mumbai. Veteran leaders of the party, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal, will conduct the meeting. 

While Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra CM for the second time, Ajit Pawar took oath as the deputy CM. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath.

Fadnavis said that Ajit and he were always in touch and had discussed in detail about government formation. “People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to align with other parties instead, and thus President’s rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable government and not a khichdi government,” he added.

A number of senior BJP leaders congratulated Fadnavis, including Prime minister Modi.

NCP leader Sharad Pawar took to Twitter to say, “Ajit Pawar’s decision to support the BJP to form Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his (sic).”

The Congress said that they have been backstabbed, claiming what else can be expected from the NCP.