The month-long political impasse ended dramatically with Devendra Fadnavis returning as the chief minister again, backed by the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister at Raj Bhavan.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath to the two in the morning ceremony, where only official media was present.
“People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after results, after which President’s rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable govt not a ‘khichidi’ govt,” Fadnavis said.
Ajit Pawar, after taking oath as the deputy chief minister, said: “From result day on October 24, no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many problems, including farmers issues. So we decided to form a stable government.”
The surprise swearing-in is being described as a political masterstroke of Sharad Pawar, who on Thursday night had said there was a consensus among the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena that Uddhav Thackeray should lead the new government.