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What next in Maharashtra? All eyes on BJP

BJP's Devendra Fadnavis is expected to make a comeback as chief minister

PTI12_21_2019_000237B Maharashtra former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis

A day after Uddhav Thackeray resigned as Maharashtra chief minister, all eyes are on Raj Bhavan to see if Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will invite the BJP to form the next government in the state. The process for the change of regime in the state, which began with the rebellion of around 40 of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs under Eknath Shinde's leadership, got a boost after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Koshyari on Tuesday and asked him to order a floor test of the Thackeray government, claiming it had lost majority. Thackeray (62) resigned on Wednesday, minutes after Supreme Court refused to stay Governor Koshyari's direction to his government to take a floor test in the assembly. 

The BJP, which is expected to stake claim to form the next government in Maharashtra soon following the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister, will be holding a series of meetings today to decide the future course of action, where party's state in-charge C.T. Ravi will remain present. Ravi, who has arrived in Mumbai on Thursday morning, will attend a meeting at 'Sagar' bungalow, the official residence of Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis with senior party leaders, including its state chief Chandrakant Patil. The BJP has also asked all of its MLAs to remain in Mumbai city till the next steps are taken, they said. Following Thackeray's resignation on Wednesday night, Chandrakant Patil had said that Fadnavis and rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, who claims to have the support of 39 rebel Sena legislators and 11 independent MLAs as well as small parties, will decide the next court of action.

BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, who is expected to make a comeback as chief minister after holding the post from 2014 to 2019, is scheduled to brief media later Thursday on the future course of action. Rebel Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, who are now in a luxury hotel in Goa after spending over a week at posh resorts in Surat and Guwahati, are expected to return to Mumbai soon. It is not yet clear if the Shinde-led group will merge with any party. Shinde Wednesday night reiterated that they are Shiv Sainiks and will remain in Shiv Sena. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Legislature Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat issued a statement saying there won't be a special session of the assembly on Thursday as the purpose for which it was convened (floor test) does not exist anymore. Anticipating that the rebel Sena MLAs might start returning to Mumbai soon, police have beefed up security in the city. 

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