BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the assembly election together but after the polls Sena broke the alliance with BJP. Devendra Fadnavis had taken oath as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy CM. However they resigned from CM and Deputy CM’s post. Later the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Here is a look at important incidents that took place in Maharashtra.
BJP and Sena contested assembly election together
The BJP and the Shiv Sena formally announced their seat-sharing deal for the Maharashtra assembly elections scheduled for October 21. Sena contested on 124 seats while BJP and its allies contested on 164 seats.
Sena severs ties with BJP
Shiv Sena broke its 30 year old alliance with BJP as the latter was reluctant to heed to Sena’s demand for rotation of chief ministerial post for two and half year term. Sena and BJP were locked in a tussle for 17 days after the results of assembly polls were announced. Devendra Fadnavis had rejected Thackeray’s claims that BJP chief Amit Shah was agreed to his demand for a rotational chief ministership ahead of Lok Sabha polls. The Shiv Sena has also exited the BJP-led NDA at the Centre as the party’s lone member in the Union Cabinet, Arvind Sawant resigned as the heavy industries minister.
Aaditya Thackeray became first from Thackeray family to contest election
Aaditya Thackeray contested the recently held Maharashtra assembly polls from Worli constituency. Aaditya became the first member from Thackeray family to enter electoral fray after Shalini Thackeray the wife of Jeetendra Thackeray a cousin of MNS founder Raj Thackeray who had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Aaditya Thackeray a BA and LLB is the son of Uddhav and Rashmi Thackeray and has a younger brother Tejas Thackeray.
Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra CM, Ajit Pawar became Deputy CM
BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar took oath as Maharashtra chief minister and deputy chief minister an unexpected development a day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray emerged as the Sena-NCP-Congress’ consensus candidate for the top post.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, however, said it was his nephew Ajit Pawar’s own decision, and not that of the party, to support the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government.
The development raised eyebrows not only in the political circles, but also among the people of the state as the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress had been holding talks over forming the government in the state.
‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ formed government in Maharashtra
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine was named Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) after the three parties decided to join hands to form the government in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was elected as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. The new alliance, claims to have the support of 166 legislators in the 288-member assembly.
A letter claiming support of 166 MLAs was submitted to the governor. While Uddhav will be the CM for the full five years, both Congress and NCP are likely to get one deputy chief minister’s post each.
In several constituencies, Sena had fought high-pitched battles against Congress and NCP. The new alliance will also have to defuse the tensions between workers on the ground. According to political observers, if the new alliance goes the distance, it has the potential to alter the state’s political landscape. While both Congress and NCP appeal to identical voter segments and have a predominantly rural presence, Sena draws most of its clout from urban belts.
In the 288-member state Assembly, BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress party having 56, 54 and 44 members respectively. The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post.
ACB gave clean chit to Ajit Pawar
The Anti Corruption Bureau DG Param Bir Singh gave clean chit to NCP leader Ajit Pawar in connection with the Vidarbha irrigation scam. The affidavit filed by Singh in the Bombay High Court — that dealt with PILs alleging that the agency was delaying investigation in the case — stated: “In regards to respondent no. 7, Ajit Pawar, no criminality had been found.”
“As regards the role of Ajit Pawar, no criminal liability is disclosed during the course of inquiry/ investigation by the Special Investigation Team [SIT],” the affidavit dated December 19 said.
The affidavit stated that the affidavit filed on November 26, 2018 in the case by the then ACB chief was through inferences drawn by him on basis of the material put before him then. The then officer had told the Nagpur Bench that Pawar had intervened in the process of award of contracts for irrigation projects.
“No investigating officer or enquiring officer was placed in connection with Ajit Pawar or his role. So the affiant did not have the advantage of knowing the actual facts collected by investigating officers which are now with the ACB,” Param Bir Singh said.
During the course of the investigation and after filing of the affidavit in November 2018, the water resources department provided information to the agency in May and June 2019. Ajit Pawar then responded to a questionnaire given to him in September 2019 and December 2019 regarding the 12 irrigation projects of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).
Earlier, the NCP leader was cleared of all allegations in the Vidarbha irrigation scam by the Maharashtra ACB, according to an affidavit submitted before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, which was filed just a day before the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government (Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress) was sworn in Maharashtra on November 28.
Ajit Pawar, chairman of the VIDC, cannot be held responsible for acts of the executing agencies as there is no legal duty on his part, the affidavit filed on November 27 stated.
Ajit Pawar, the NCP MLA from Baramati in Pune district, was Water Resources Development Minister during 1999-2009 when the Congress-NCP combine was in power in Maharashtra. He also served as chairman of the VIDC, which had cleared irrigation projects in which irregularities were alleged.
Thackeray government to rolled out its own loan waiver scheme
On December 27, the Sena-led government had announced a full waiver for those who had availed loans between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019, and whose total arrears as by September-end stood at Rs 2 lakh or less. Just as the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government is set to roll out a new farm loan waiver scheme in Maharashtra, it has been learnt that more than five lakh farmers with outstanding loans are yet to avail the waiver sanctioned by the previous Devendra Fadnavis regime, though the amount has been allotted to the respective banks in which they have accounts. According to official figures, the Fadnavis government had finalised a list of 54 lakh farmers eligible for the loan waiver scheme announced in 2017, for which a sum of Rs 27,000 crore was allotted. This list of beneficiaries was described as a “green” list, as it was cleared after multi-layer screenings and application of several filters, as well as a ground-level verification.
On the condition of anonymity, a senior official said that the unclaimed waivers have raised questions about the account holders and the scrutiny exercise to determine the green list. Officials cited these unclaimed accounts as the reason why the Thackeray government will roll out its own loan waiver scheme in a phased manner. A full-fledged investigation is expected to take place, but right now, the government’s priority was to implement the recently announced scheme, a senior official said. While the government has already come under pressure to widen the scheme’s ambit, Finance Minister Jayant Patil on Saturday said the government plans to roll out either a part or a full waiver scheme even for those whose arrears were over the Rs 2-lakh mark, and another incentive scheme for farmers who pay loan dues regularly. The state is collecting data regarding the farmers who have arrears above Rs 2 lakh, he added.
The latest records show that so far, over 44 lakh farmers have received waiver amounting to Rs 18,761 crore under the scheme, senior officials said. Ten lakh farmers’ accounts, which were on the sanctioned green list, have so far not availed the benefit. Of these, about 4.5 lakh accounts belong to those farmers who had applied for the one-time settlement scheme, announced as part of the previous waiver for loan arrears of over Rs 1.5 lakh payable by June 30, 2016. “There was a pre-condition that the beneficiary must first settle loan arrears over and above the Rs 1.5 lakh to avail the benefit,” an official said. But it is the remaining 5.5 lakh accounts that have rung alarm bells in the government. Despite a full loan waiver benefit sanctioned in the case of these accounts, sources said that the banks are yet to claim the waiver amount and close the loans.
“Through the implementation of various farmer welfare schemes, Aadhaar data has already been seeded with the bank accounts in the case of the 60 per cent of the proposed beneficiaries. Instructions to finish seeding off the data for the remaining accounts within a fortnight have been issued. Once this is done, the data will be proof checked on ground before the loans are written off,” the official said.