A recap of political events leading to formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi

by mcdix

Maharashtra’s ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP face instability after the city council poll results. After undergoing two shocks in quick succession by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — in the Rajya Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Council polls — Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government appears to be entering an uncertain zone. Following Monday’s city council poll, Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde and more than a dozen party MLAs have reportedly left for Surat in Gujarat.

Even as the current political situation unfolds in the state, we provide a summary of the month-long political crisis in Maharashtra that resulted in the breaking of the BJP-Sena alliance and the formation of a new one between the Sena, the NCP, and the Congress — namely, the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’. The situation has prompted the senior leaders of the Shiv Sena, Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to convene separate meetings of their MLAs. SenaChieff and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also held a meeting of the MLAs and senior leaders of the party. NCP chief Sharad Pawar also canceled his programs in Delhi to return to Mumbai. Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil has said his party has nothing to do with current political developments.

Maha Vikas Aghadi

Here is a timeline of political developments that led to the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi:

October 24, 2019 – The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, which fought the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections together, won 161 seats (BJP – 105 and Shiv Sena – 56). The NCP will have 54 seats, while Congress will have 44 seats. While everything seems for the next government, the Sena demands a rotating prime ministership in the BJP.

October 25, 2019 – As the BJP settled for fewer seats in the new Assembly, making it more dependent on its ally, the Shiv Sena has begun to push its demands for more cabinet seats and the CM post for 2.5 years. The Sena mouthpiece Samaana attacks Devendra Fadnavis, praising NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. Sena leaders also conveyed to the BJP that Uddhav Thackeray would only negotiate with the then national BJP president Amit Shah.

October 28, 2019 – Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut claims a 50:50 formula was agreed between Amit Shah and Mr. Thackeray ahead of the Assembly polls. The BJP denies this and says no agreement has been reached with the Sena. Separate delegations from the BJP and the Sena also meet Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Both sides call the meetings “courtesy.”

October 30, 2019 – Shiv Sena cancels a meeting with the BJP after Mr. Fadnavis denies a part-time ministerial post to his ally. Sena sticks to her question.

November 1, 2019 – In the first hint of deteriorating ties, Sena leader Sanjay Raut says his party could form a government without the BJP. Mr. Raut also meets Mr. Pawar secretly, sparking murmurs about an alliance with the NCP and Congress.

November 8, 2019 – The Sena-BJP alliance breaks. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis offers his resignation to Governor Koshyari as the BJP and Shiv Sena fail to reach a deal on forming the government. The term of the then Maharashtra assembly was to end on November 9. The BJP and the Sena continue to blame each other for the failure of the negotiations. Raj Bhavan officials say the governor is the governor’s option to appoint the next government administrator or initiate proceedings to impose the presidency.

November 9, 2019 – The newly elected 14th State Legislative Assembly goes into “suspended animation”. Governor Koshyari asks the leader of the elected members of the largest party, the BJP, and its legislative leader, Mr. Fadnavis, to indicate a willingness and ability to form the government.

November 10, 2019 – After the BJP declined the invitation, Governor Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena, the second largest party, to submit its claim to form the government.

November 11, 2019 – The Shiv Sena asks for a postponement, but the Governor declGovernor invites the NCP.

November 12, 2019 – Even as the Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, and Congress discussed ways to form the government in Maharashtra, Governor Koshyari recommended the state’s presidency. The president’s rule is imposed. Sena-NCP Congress says they will continue to work on finding ways to form the government.

November 12-19, 2019 – The war of words between the Sena and the BJP continues, even as the former is actively involved in negotiations with the NCP and Congress. Mr. Shah says the Sena’s demands are unacceptable, but his party does not want interim polls in the state. The Shiv Sena also blames the BJP and alleges betrayal of the alliance terms. Talks between the Sena, NCP, and Congress continue with top leaders meeting to resolve government formation and power-sharing issues.

November 20, 2019 – Amid frantic discussions about government formation, Mr. Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi “to address the issue of peasant distress in the state.” The meeting leaves NCP Sena Congress leaders uneasy as talks between the three parties appear to be in their final stages.

November 21, 2019 – Mr. Thackeray and his son Aaditya met with NCP chief Mr. Pawar at his residence in Mumbai for the latest government-building talks. A new alliance named ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ was formed.

November 22, 2019 – In a press conference that evening, the alliance is formally announced, along with the announcement of Uddhav Thackeray as its top ministerial candidate.

November 23, 2019 – The Center invokes Rule 12 of the Transaction of Business Rules, 1961, which authorizes the Prime Minister to deviate from the established rules if necessary. Here it is used to revoke the proclamation of the president’s power in Maharashtra without the prior approval of the Union cabinet. President Ram Nath Kovind is revoking the declaration through a notice issued early Saturday, signed by Union Home Affairs Minister Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

November 23, 2019 – The political deadlock that had begun in Maharashtra following the results of the State Assembly poll takes another turn on the morning of November 23 when BJP’s Mr. Fadnavis returns as CM after NCP’s Ajit Pawar broke away with a faction of party MLA’s for the deputy CM. The move was a surprise as the MVA was all set to form the government led by Mr. Thackeray.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, flanked by former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, during their swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai on November 23, 2019. | Photo credit: PTIA

November 23, 2019 – The NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena combination moves to the Supreme Court with a joint petition against the “illegal takeover” by the BJP. The court will hear the application for a hearing on November 24 at 11:30 am.

November 24, 2019 – The Supreme Court begins to hear the case. While the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena alliance claims the support of 165 MLAs, the BJP also claims to have 170 MLAs who support the Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar government.

November 25, 2019 – The Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress parade 162 MLAs at a five-star hotel in Mumbai on November 25 in a unified strength. The 162 MLAs take an oath to remain loyal to the alliance.

Congress MLA Ashok Chavan, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge, and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut during a grand photo opportunity of 162 MLAs during Maharashtra government formation crisis at Hotel Hyatt in Mumbai on November 25, 2019. | Photo credit: Vijay Bate

November 26, 2019 – After hearing both sides for two days, the Supreme Court orders a floor test to be conducted in Maharashtra on November 27 at 5 pm.

November 26, 2019 – Hours after the SC warrant, Mr. Fadnavis resigns, barely 80 hours after he was sworn in. The move was necessitated by the resignation of his deputy Ajit Pawar citing “personal reasons”.

November 27, 2019 – After days of extraordinary political developments, Pro tem Chairman Kalidas Kolambkar takes the oath of office to the newly elected members at a special session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.

November 28, 2019 – Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray takes oath as the 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra to head the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance with Congress and the NCP.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray bows to the people after taking oath in Shivaji Park in Mumbai on November 28, 2019. | Photo credit: Prashant Make

June 10, 2022 – While Shiv Sena’s alliance with Congress and the NCP was unlikely, the MVA government has gone smoothly. The BJP wins another seat from Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha polls, leading to a blame game in the ruling alliance. However, the BJP trumps the block twice in a matter of days.

June 20, 2022 – In the hotly contested Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, the BJP wins the MVA alliance by winning five out of 10 seats, with 12 Sena MLAs reportedly voting in favor of Mr. Fadnavis-led BJP.

June 21, 2022 – Shiv Sena leader and minister of state Eknath Shinde and 11 MLAs become untraceable, endangering the stability of the MVA government. Sources in Surat confirm that more than a dozen lawmakers from Maharashtra have been housed at the Le Meridien Hotel. Later in the day, Mr. Shinde breaks his silence and says that he would never betray the teachings of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray for the sake of power. He also talks about Hindutva.

The latest development has forced the three ruling parties in the state to convene meetings of their MLAs and try to keep their respective flocks together. After discussing party leaders and MLAs, Shiv Sena removes Eknath Shinde Frashe, leader of the Legislative Party. Senior party MLA Ajay Choudhari has been appointed as the new leader of the Legislative Party.

You may also like