Ajit Pawar holds meeting with Fadnavis at his residence

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar called on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the latter’s official bungalow, ‘Varsha’, here late on Sunday, capping a day of major political developments.

This was their first formal meeting after they were sworn-in by Governor B.S. Koshyari early on Saturday morning.

Though the reasons behind the meeting are not yet clear, it is believed that they discussed the nitty-gritty of government formation, the hearing of the case before the Supreme Court on Monday, the upcoming floor test in the Assembly and future political strategy.

Besides, certain senior BJP leaders were also present amid speculation that the saffron party was willing to give a significant number of cabinet posts, chairmanships of state corporations and other benefits to the legislators supporting Ajit Pawar.

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The BJP has already made it clear that it will make all efforts to win the floor test with a thumping majority.

Earlier in the day, in an unprecedented hearing on a Sunday, the Supreme Court took up the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress combine’s plea against the invitation to the BJP to form the government, and asked the Centre to produce letters of support used by Fadnavis in staking claim to form the government, on Monday morning at 10.30 a.m. for passing orders.

Later, Ajit Pawar, breaking his silence, tweeted that he was still in the NCP and that the BJP-NCP alliance would provide a stable government to Maharashtra. This soon drew a spirited rebuttal from his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who asserted that there was no question of forming an alliance with the BJP and termed Ajit Pawar’s statement as “false and misleading in order to create confusion and false perception among the people”.

Meanwhile, the Sena, the Congress and the NCP kept vigil over their MLAs as the BJP deputed senior leaders, including former Chief Minister Narayan Rane — who had earlier been in both the Sena and the Congress — to ensure Fadnavis secures a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.


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