Barely 19 days before Maharashtra assembly elections, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan resigned from his post today, after the Congress-led government in the state was reduced to a minority due to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) pulling out of it.
The Chief Minister has submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, an official spokesperson told PTI this evening. Earlier today, Chavan had met the Governor.
There is no word yet from Raj Bhavan about the next course of action, even as it is being speculated that the Governor might ask Chavan to continue as caretaker chief minister or even recommend President’s rule in Maharashtra. The governor is seeking legal opinion, Raj Bhavan sources said.
Last night, soon after announcing the breaking up of NCP’s alliance with the Congress, NCP leader Ajit Pawar met the governor and informed him that the NCP has withdrawn its support to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan-led government.
Chavan is scheduled to file his nomination from the Karad assembly constituency in western Maharashtra tomorrow. Chavan was brought in as Maharashtra chief minister in November 2010 after the Adarsh housing scam tarnished the image of the Congress. When he took over as CM, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP had an upper hand in the political equation within the ruling coalition.
Immediately after taking charge, Chavan left no stone unturned to target NCP leaders, including Ajit Pawar. The campaign to show that NCP harboured corruption succeeded after scams were unearthed in which NCP leaders were allegedly involved, as in the case of irrigation scam.
Reacting to Chavan’s resignation, leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse (BJP) said that the CM had no other option, but to quit. After NCP withdrew support to the government last night, it was impossible for Chavan to continue as CM since the Congress could not have managed the 145-number mark needed for a majority in the 288-member House, Khadse said.
Earlier today, Khadse had met the governor and demanded President’s rule in Maharashtra.
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