MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, Nov 26 - Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Maharashtra chief minister on Tuesday ahead of the floor test shortly after rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar did a u-turn and quit as the BJP leader�s deputy, in another dramatic twist to the month-long political drama that will see Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray head the new government.
Admitting he does not have the majority hours after the Supreme Court ordered the floor test for Wednesday, Fadnavis was back in Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari just four days after he was sworn in at a hush-hush ceremony last Saturday. His return for a second term followed stunning midnight developments where Ajit Pawar revolted and propped up the BJP government.
Hours after Fadnavis quit, a post-poll alliance of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) and the Congress, picked Uddhav Thackeray, 59, as its nominee for the chief minister�s post.
The decision was taken at a joint meeting of the three parties at a suburban hotel in Mumbai.
While state NCP chief Jayant Patil proposed Thackeray�s name as �the (next) chief minister�, the State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat seconded the proposal.
The meeting was attended by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, senior party leader Praful Patel, Congress leader Ashok Chavan, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana�s Raju Shetti, Samajwadi Party�s Abu Azmi, MLAs of all these parties and others.
The three parties named their alliance as �Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi�.
The BJP with 105 MLAs is the single largest party while the Sena�s 56 MLAs along with the NCP and Congress� 54 and 44 legislators, respectively, would take the combine�s tally to 154. The majority mark in a House of 288 is 145.
Uddhav, who had emerged as a consensus candidate on Friday night and was set to be the chief minister before the BJP turned the tables on its former ally, will be the first from the Thackeray family to assume a government post. His father late Bal Thackeray wielded the �remote control� over the first Sena-BJP combine government during 1995-99 but never assumed a position in the government.
Uddhav Thackeray recently recalled the �promise� he had made to his late father to install a �Shiv Sainik� (party worker) as chief minister of Maharashtra.
The BJP�s efforts to cobble a majority hoping that Ajit Pawar will be able to enlist the support of a a large section of the MLAs of the NCP came a cropper after almost all the 54 legislators stood by his uncle and party supremo Sharad Pawar, the 78-year-old Maratha strongman.
Sharad Pawar, who spoke to Ajit over phone in the morning asking him to revisit his decision, has been credited for the u-turn by his nephew and was being described as the �man of the match�. Ajit Pawar cited �personal reasons� for his decision to quit.
Fadnavis handed over his resignation to the Governor after he announced his decision at a crowded news conference in Mumbai. � PTI