Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday morning tweeted that "those who have been laughed at have ended up creating history". But little did he knew that in less than an hour 'Chanakya' of BJP Amit Shah would present one of the biggest turnarounds in the political landscape of Maharashtra government formation. Now, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis has returned as the chief minister of Maharashtra, backed by the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister at Raj Bhavan.
Sanjay Raut, after Friday meeting of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress, was sure that Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government was soon going to be a reality. The common minimum programme was close to being in final shape and only a few formalities were left before staking claim to form the next government. But this was not to happen.
Black Saturday for Shiv Sena
Saturday morning saw Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath in the morning ceremony, where only official media was present.
"People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after results, after which President's rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable govt not a 'khichidi' govt," Fadnavis said.
Ajit Pawar, after taking oath as the deputy chief minister, said: "From result day on October 24, no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many problems, including farmers issues. So we decided to form a stable government."
The surprise swearing-in is being described as a political masterstroke of Sharad Pawar, who on Thursday night had said there was a consensus among the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government.