Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party yesterday made an unexpected comeback to power in wealthy Maharashtra state, home to the country’s financial capital, after prolonged backroom negotiations saw presidential rule lifted after days of uncertainty.
President Ram Nath Kovind imposed direct rule on India’s richest state last week after fiercely fought elections last month led to weeks of haggling between parties over forming a government.
The state was previously ruled by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and its right-wing regional ally Shiv Sena.
But they failed to agree another power-sharing deal despite results showing the coalition had won a comfortable majority for a second consecutive term.
Shiv Sena quit the partnership, hoping to convince their ideological rivals, the centre-left Indian National Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)to form a government instead.
In the end though the BJP pulled off a major upset by joining hands with a top NCP leader to form a coalition, announcing the deal yesterday.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP have approached the Indian Supreme Court after the BJP move.
“November 23 will be a black chapter in the history of India when an illegitimate government was constituted by the Governor acting as a hitman on the Constitution of India at the instance of the Home Minister,” Congress said in a press conference adding the BJP has “betrayed” the people of Maharashtra.
The coalition still needs to prove its majority in the state legislature in a week’s time in order to stay in power.