Fadnavis steps down as Maharashtra waits for a CM

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Maharashtra: The political churning and blame game in Maharashtra intensified on Friday as the state assembly neared an end and deadline for the parties to stake claim to form the government is almost over. With no solution at sight, Devendra Fadnavis resigned as the Maharashtra chief minister and launched a fierce attack on ally Shiv Sena. Uddhav Thackeray launched a counter-attack and both called each other liars.

The Maharashtra election results were announced on October 24. It has been 16 days since, and alliance partners BJP and Shiv Sena, who got a clear mandate to form the government, have failed to arrive at a consensus.

Here’s all that happened in the Maharashtra saga on Friday:

1. Devendra Fadnavis resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra after over two weeks of the ongoing impasse over government formation. He drove down to the Governor’s House in south Mumbai on Friday afternoon and submitted his resignation.

2. Fadnavis addressed a press conference to announce his resignation and launched a no holds barred attack on allies Shiv Sena and its chief Uddhav Thackeray. Fadnavis said there were no talks of sharing the chief minister’s post in his presence. The issue may have been mentioned once in front of Amit Shah, who didn’t promise anything to Uddhav Thackeray.

3. Fadnavis said soon after the election results were announced, Shiv Sena changed its colours and started talking about sharing the chief minister’s post. The BJP leader said this came as a shock.

4. Soon after Fadnavis’s press conference, Uddhav Thackeray addressed his own and said no one has ever labeled Shiv Sena as liars and this was hurtful. He also accused BJP of lying. The two bickering partners have accused each other of lying and the attacks intensified on Friday.

5. Thackeray said the issue of equal power sharing was agreed upon in front of Amit Shah.

6. Fadnavis said only Shiv Sena is to be blamed for the collapse of talks and no solution being reached in the prolonged impasse. Fadnavis said he made several calls to Thackeray who refused to answer them. Thackeray hit back saying he stopped talking because BJP tried to prove him a liar.

7. Shiv Sena is still adamant that BJP will have to agree with their demand of sharing the CM’s post. Thackeray said having a Shiv Sena CM was something he promised Balasaheb Thackeray and he will make it happen. Fadnavis on his part said doors were still open for talks.

8. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut once again met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar at his residence amid the bitter war of words with its ally BJP.

9. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress alleged that the other parties were trying to poach its MLAs. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar on Friday alleged that sums of “Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore” were being offered to MLAs to switch sides.

10. Sharad Pawar said BJP and Shiv Sena should respect the mandate given by the people of Maharashtra and form the government without further bickering. He also wondered why the Governor hasn’t called the single largest party to form the government yet.

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