NEW DELHI: Devendra Fadnavis returning as CM was indeed an early-morning surprise for almost everyone. But for Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari the preparations for government formation reportedly began Friday evening itself.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had agreed on Uddhav Thackeray as the next Chief Minister of the state, but there was to be a sting in the tale.
Hard at work was the BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, who had been tasked by the top brass with completing the formalities of ushering in a government led by Devendra Fadnavis.
While the Congress, Shiv Sena and the NCP leadership retired for the evening, Yadav executed the script worked out by the party chief Amit Shah, sources said.
ALSO WATCH :
The NCP legislature party leader Ajit Pawar had moved by late evening to the BJP camp even as he took part in parleys with the Shiv Sena. This would add to the shock value later.
When the BJP finally moved ahead and sought permission to form the government, Koshyari seemingly followed the norms as per the rule book.
He sought proof of the numbers in writing. The BJP and Ajit Pawar then reportedly submitted a list with the signatures of the legislatures extending support for the Fadnavis-led government, sources said.
It was only after this that Koshyari reportedly recommended the lifting of the President's rule late last night
With the governor's recommendation reaching him, President Ram Nath Kovind issued the notification lifting the Central rule in the state early in the morning.
The BJP camp maintained that the Governor had 'satisfactorily' completed the exercise for the government formation in line with the constitutional norms while swearing-in Fadnavis as the chief minister and Pawar as his deputy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick in tweeting the congratulatory message to Fadnavis and hoped that the new government would work for the welfare of the people of the state.
Interestingly, the NCP is now insisting that these letters were from the meet convened to discuss support for the Sena-NCP-Congress government and had been misused by Ajit.
Baat ek raat ki: How the Maharashtra coup unfolded
Around 11.45 pm Friday – BJP’s deal with Ajit Pawar finalised
11.55 pm - Fadnavis speaks to party and requests for swearing-in before anyone in Sena-NCP-Congress comes to know and stakes claim
2.10 am - Secretary to Governor told to arrange swearing-in at 6.30 am after submitting order revoking President's Rule
2.30 am - Secretary informs he will submit file within two hours and advises 7.30 am for swearing-in as arrangements have to be made early on Saturday
11.45 pm to 9 am - Ajit Pawar stays put with Fadnavis, not to go back till swearing-in
5.30 am - Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar arrive at Raj Bhavan
5.47 am - President’s Rule revoked
7.50 am - Swearing-in ceremony begins at a hall in Raj Bhavan
8.05 am - Governor BS Koshyari administers oath of office and secrecy to Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister
8.10 am - Governor BS Koshyari administers oath of office and secrecy to Ajit Pawar as Dy Chief Minister
8.40 am - PM Modi congratulates new CM and Dy CM