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NCP Says ‘Not Us’, Sena Cries Foul: Reactions to BJP’s Surprise

Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar’s Saturday surprise has sent Shiv Sena into a stunned silence and social media into a tizzy.

Updated
Politics
4 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sprung up a surprise like none other. Devendra Fadnavis swearing in as chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar taking oath as deputy CM on the morning of Saturday, 23 November, sent the Shiv Sena into a stunned silence and social media into a tizzy.

Here are some of the top reactions coming in – from the prime minister and other politicians, to meme-lovers and political observers.

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Sharad Pawar Distances Himself From Nephew Ajit

‘Paap Ke Saudagar’: Sena Cries Foul

Shiva Sena leader Sanjay Raut termed the oath-taking of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar “theft,” and tweeted the phrase ‘Paap ke saudagar’ (broker of sins).

He also tweeted that those whom the world laughs at, go on to make history.

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Modi Quick to Congratulate Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar

‘Party and Family Split’: Supriya Sule

Amid the Maharashtra shocker, Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule uploaded WhatsApp stories pointing out a major rift within the family and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Sule's first status read, "Party and family split," hours after Sharad Pawar had tweeted that NCP doesn’t endorse Ajit's decision to support the BJP.

Screenshot of Sule’s WhatsApp story.
Screenshot of Sule’s WhatsApp story.
(Photo: ANI)

A few minutes later, Sule put up another WhatsApp status that read, “Who do u trust in life.... never felt so cheated in life.... Defended him loved him.... Look what I get in return.... (sic).”

‘Will Defeat BJP in Trust Vote’: Congress

Referring to the manner in which Fadnavis was sworn in, Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “democracy is shattered.”

Calling it a “black day in Maharashtra’s history” he also said, “All the three (Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena) parties are together in this and I am confident that we will defeat BJP in the trust vote. All Congress MLAs are present in Mumbai except two who are right now in their village, but they too are with us.”

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel dubbed the political developments in Maharashtra the "theft and murder of democracy", according to PTI.

“It is very unfortunate that democracy was stolen this way. You had imposed President’s rule there and revoked it in overnight and administered oath to chief minister and deputy CM by inviting them secretly. What kind of democracy is this?”
CM Baghel to reporters

"You did not wait and even not given opportunity to anyone to prove majority. It is the murder of democracy," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote that the people’s mandate had been betrayed.

Adding some humor to the incident, Maharashtra Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted out a line from The Godfather:

Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh advised the Shiv Sena to “take to the streets” of Mumbai to protest against the formation of a new BJP-led government in Maharashtra.

He also claimed that Ajit, who took oath as deputy chief minister along with Fadnavis, had joined the new government alone, and no other NCP MLA was with him.

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Congress general secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal said that “the chief minister was sworn in disgracefully under cover of darkness", according to PTI. Sooner than later, he said, the "illegally" installed BJP government in Maharashtra will "have to step down in dishonour".

Fadnavis will have to step down "shamefully" after the floor test in the legislative assembly as the BJP leader would not be able to prove majority in the assembly, Venugopal said.

Sushil Modi Calls Shah ‘Chanakya’ of Indian Politics

Congratulating Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Shah wrote, “I am confident that this government will be continuously committed to the development and welfare of Maharashtra and will set new standards of progress in the state.”

UP CM Yogi Adityanath congratulated them and expressed confidence that “under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis and Sri Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra will be on the path of development.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh defended BJP and denied the party’s role in the 'coup’ of sorts. “I think the BJP didn’t initiate it. The initiative came from them (Ajit Pawar-led NCP group) and naturally after they extended support, the governor must have assessed if a stable government can be formed, and subsequently invited them to form the government,” said Singh, according to Hindustan Times.

“I think it’s the governor’s prerogative (on who he invites to form the government),” he added, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said under the leadership of Fadnavis and Pawar, the “chariot of Maharashtra's development” will move ahead rapidly.

Adding to the criticism, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the Shiv Sena betrayed the people of the state by deciding to go with the Congress, which was “synonymous with corruption.”

On the other hand, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said, “It was a clear case of betrayal of the people of that state.”

Uddhav Thackeray’s CM Dream Short-lived

Echoing Congress’ views, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too said that the formation of government in Maharashtra was “undemocratic” and it “disrespected” the mandate of people of the state.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and PTI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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