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With Fadnavis' resignation, Uddhav Thackeray's path to CM chair seems clear

A joint meeting of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs is scheduled in the evening where Thackeray is likely to be elected the legislative party leader.

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With Fadnavis' resignation, Uddhav Thackeray's path to CM chair seems clear
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
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With the resignation of Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, the path for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to become Maharashtra Chief Minister seems clear. A joint meeting of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs is scheduled in the evening where Thackeray is likely to be elected the legislative party leader.

Fadnavis, who took oath as chief minister at a hastily organised ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday morning, resigned after the Supreme Court directed that the floor test for BJP government to prove majority in the assembly will be conducted on Wednesday. 

Along with Fadnavis, NCP's Ajit Pawar was also sworn in as deputy chief minister by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Pawar also resigned from his post on Tuesday, soon after the apex court's order on the floor test. 

Reacting to the resignations, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said, "This is a victory of constitutional democracy. They thought through horse trading they can form the government. This is not only a failure of Devendra Fadnavis but also a slap on the faces of their masters sitting in Delhi."

He informed that there will be a joint press conference of the three (Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP) parties followed by a meeting on Tuesday. 
"In the meeting leader of the joint legislative party will be elected, I think Uddhav ji will be elected," he said. 

Earlier, addressing a press conference in Mumbai where he announced his resignation, Fadnavis said the BJP will play the role of "an effective opposition" even though he expressed doubts whether the "three-wheeler government" of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress will be stable.

"...I'll go to Raj Bhavan and tender my resignation. I wish them all the best whoever will form the government. But that will be a very unstable govt as there is a huge difference of opinions," he said. 

"I doubt that this three-wheeler govt will be stable but BJP will work as an effective opposition and try to raise the voice of people," Fadnavis added. 

In a setback to the BJP on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said that it is necessary to have a floor test to avoid horse trading and asked Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to appoint a pro-tem speaker to conduct the floor test. 

A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna directed the entire exercise to be telecast live.

Voting in the assembly shall not be on the basis of a secret ballot, the bench said.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP is the single-largest party with 105 MLAs, while the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have 56, 54 and 44 members, respectively. 

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