Fadnavis resigns as Maharashtra CM

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis resigned from the top post ahead of the end of the current assembly’s tenure ending midnight Friday. Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari this evening at the Raj Bhawan and tendered his resignation.

The resignation takes Maharashtra a step closer to the possibility of President’s rule since the BJP and Shiv Sena have not been able to break the deadlock on government formation and reach an agreement.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday warned that any attempt by Devendra Fadnavis government to retain power under the garb of a caretaker government in Maharashtra will not be right.

Raut has come up with the statement amid reports that the BJP was exploring the possibility of the governor asking Fadnavis to continue as the caretaker Chief Minister till the new government is in place.

Speaking to reporters at Mumbai, Raut said that if there are attempts to keep a caretaker chief minister and keep the reins of power in hand, it will not be right. The chief minister, whoever he is, has to resign as per the Constitution.

The two allies are locked in a power struggle as the Sena is demanding the chief minister’s post for half the term, which the BJP has rejected. The BJP is hoping to convince the Sena leadership to get on board in the few hours left before the tenure of the existing Assembly ends on midnight of November 9.

Amid speculations that senior BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari could meet Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to convince him to form the government, Raut said that he should intervene only if he has a written assurance on giving CM post for half the term to Sena.

Raut also added that no “third party” should try to mediate between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. He was probably referring to the Thursday evening’s attempt by Hindutva ideologue Sambhaji Bhide to meet Thackeray but did not get an appointment.

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