On Monday, NCP leader Ajit Pawar downplayed his joint appearance with former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the wedding of Independent MLA Sanjay Shinde’s daughter. Maintaining that nothing new was “cooking”, he claimed that they only "discussed the weather". Moreover, he claimed that they sat together because of the seating arrangement at the wedding. They were seen together on a public platform for the first time since the fall of their 80-hour government in Maharashtra. At present, Ajit Pawar is a strong contender to become the Deputy CM of Maharashtra.
Talking to reporters, Ajit Pawar remarked, "Just because we sat together doesn't mean something new is cooking. We discussed the weather and rainfall." He added, “The chairs at the wedding were arranged in such a manner that both of us were seated together. There are no permanent foes in politics. As we were seated together, it was natural for us to talk about the weather."
Just as the Sena, Congress, and NCP talks were gaining momentum, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar took oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively on November 23. While the BJP claimed that the entire NCP legislative party had consented to be a part of the government, the NCP supremo made it clear that he did not endorse the decision of Ajit Pawar. The grand show of strength by the 162 MLAs of Sena, NCP, and Congress at a hotel in Mumbai sought to push the BJP on the backfoot. But the real clincher was the Supreme Court’s order directing an immediate floor test paving way for the resignation of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar on November 26. Subsequently, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the Maharashtra CM in front of thousands of people at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.
In a recent interview to a private TV channel, Fadnavis claimed that it was Ajit Pawar who approached the BJP for government formation. Pawar had reportedly stated that a three-party government could not function. According to Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar mentioned that he had kept his uncle and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in the loop.
"Ajit Pawar approached us and said the NCP doesn't want to go with the Congress. A three-party government can't function. He said he had informed his uncle Sharad Pawar about his plans," Fadnavis said.