Mumbai: The Tuesday morning meeting between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar at the Trident hotel in Mumbai proved to be the last nail for the Devendra Fadnavis-led four-day-old BJP government. Incidentally, Trident hotel was also a target of the Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai on this day in 2008.
After the meeting, first Ajit Pawar resigned and then in a few hours Devendra Fadnavis also announced his resignation.
According to sources, MP Supriya Sule, NCP legislature party leader Jayant Patil and Praful Patel were also present at the Tuesday morning meeting between senior and junior Pawar. All the top NCP leaders are believed to have persuaded Ajit that if he comes back to the NCP fold, his prestige will be restored.
According to sources, Sharad Pawar is believed to have told Ajit either to resign or abstain during the floor test in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Sources also told IANS that the senior Pawar had sent emissaries to his nephew at least five times in three days, knowing fully well that Ajit will succumb to his pressure.
On Saturday, the day when Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn-in, Sharad Pawar sent Hasan Mushrif, then Jayant Patil and then Sunil Tatkare to fix a meeting with Ajit.
On Sunday and Monday also, Sharad Pawar sent Chaggan Bhujbal and Jayant Patil to meet Ajit and ask him to reconsider the decision.
But it was Praful Patel, a close aide of Sharad Pawar and the final emissary, who made Ajit budge and succeeded in persuading him to resign.
After the Tuesday meeting with Sharad Pawar, Ajit finally decided to quit, leading to the downfall of the 4-day-old Fadnavis government.
During his press conference, outgoing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that after Ajit Pawar had quit, the BJP has not got the numbers and that is why he is also resigning.
Earlier on Tuesday, all hopes of the BJP-led government were dashed when the Supreme Court ordered the floor test to take place on Wednesday, a party leader said.
The top court also ordered the live telecast of the proceedings of the house, bringing the curtains down on the suspense prevailing over the incumbent government.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.