New Delhi: After days of ‘living in denial’ over mutiny in Shiv Sena, the party chief Uddhav Thackeray stepped down as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Wednesday. He announced the decision to quit CM’s chair after Supreme Court refused to put stay on the Floor Test, as directed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. The apex court told the MVA alliance to take floor test in Assembly on June 30 by 11 AM.
The MVA government, with egg on its face over sudden exit of ministers, wanted to avoid further embarrassment. And, therefore to avoid further loss of face, the Chief Minister chose to bow out rather than face a defeat in the Assembly.
Uddhav is not the alone Chief Minister who stepped down, just ahead of the floor test. From Congress to BJP to smaller parties, there are many Chief Ministers who chose to jettison their chair for avoiding loss of face.
Here is a list of Chief Ministers who put in their papers before facing Floor test:
Kamal Nath, Madhya Pradesh (2020)
Kamal Nath formed the government in Madhya Pradesh after winning 2018 Assembly elections by a small margin but little did he know that it would topple within next few months. The reason behind downfall was the rebellion by Jyotiraditya Scindia who quit the Congress & joined BJP with more than 20 MLAs. Most of them were Scindia loyalists who quit the party in his support and switched to BJP, thus bringing the Kamal Nath govt in minority.
The opposition challenged state govt to prove majority. The case reached Apex Court and it didn’t get any relief from there. The Chief Minister eventually resigned ahead of Supreme Court-mandated floor test in the State Assembly.
Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra (2019)
Devendra Fadnavis oath ceremony as Chief Minister and resignation happened almost in a jiffy. He took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister for the second time on November 23, 2019 while Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy CM. However, within 3-4 days the coalition crumbled and Ajit Pawar resigned citing personal reasons.
Following his resignation, Fadnavis said, “We don’t have the numbers and we don’t want to get into horse trading.”
Fadnavis swearing in as Chief Minister also came as a shock to many as MVA alliance had already taken shape and Uddhav finalized as its Chief Minister.
The MVA alliance took strong objection to Fadnavis swearing-in and moved Apex Court against Governor’s invitation to BJP for govt formation. However, before the Supreme Court could intervene, Ajit Pawar chose to withdraw from the alliance.
BS Yeddiyurappa, Karnataka (2018)
BS Yeddiyurappa had his long ambition fulfilled when he became the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2018 but he couldn’t sustain the chair as BJP failed to accumulate numbers for passing the designated floor test in the Assembly.
Before resignation, Yeddiyurappa made an emotional speech and lamented that despite people’s blessings, the circumstances have forced him to abstain from it.
BJP had emerged as the largest party in the Assembly polls but the post-poll tie of Congress & JD(S) alliance forced it out.
Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar (2015)
For lesser-known Jitan Ram Manjhi in Bihar politics, the CM’s chair came to him totally unexpected but it went away with a huge embarrassment and big egg on his face. Manjhi tendered his resignation before the scheduled Trust vote in Bihar Assembly.
He became the Chief Minister as Nitish Kumar took a voluntary decision to quit CM’s chair following poll debacle and handpicked him to become Bihar next CM. As per the arrangement, Manjhi would have to give up the chair after next polls but he turned defiant and refused to oblige the JD(U). Power tussle began between Nitish & Manjhi, the latter rebelled against JD(U) chief and he was expelled by the party. He was told to prove majority on the floor of house and he chose to resign rather than digging his heels.