MUMBAI: Widespread celebrations began across parts of Maharashtra shortly after Devendra Fadnavis and NCP's Ajit Pawar took oath as the chief minister and deputy chief minister of the state respectively in the wee hours of Saturday.
Ths is Fadnavis' second consecutive term as Maharashtra chief minister, which also ended month-long uncertainty over the government formation in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the early BJP leaders, who congratulated Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar on taking oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, respectively on Saturday.
"Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavisji and @AjitPawarSpeaksji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra," tweeted PM Modi soon after they took the oath.
BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter to congratulate Fadnavis and Ajit on the formation of a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Maharashtra.
"Hearty congratulations to Shri @Dev_Fadnavis ji on taking oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shri @AjitPawarSpeaks as Deputy Chief Minister of the state," Shah tweeted.
On his turn, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that Fadnavis` return as Chief Minister honours the mandate of the people.
"Congratulations Devendra Fadnavis on becoming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra again. His becoming the CM honours the mandate because `khichdi` (referring to Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena negotiations) was anti-mandate. The people of Maharashtra are victorious. Congratulations to them," Javadekar tweeted.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted, "Congratulations to Devendra Fadnavis Ji and Ajit Pawar Ji for taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. Under your leadership and good governance, the state will achieve new heights of development & provide a better future to the people of Maharashtra."
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also congratulated Fadnavis.
"Hearty congratulations to Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar for becoming Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I am confident that this government will work with commitment and dedication for public welfare and will establish new dimensions of progress and prosperity," Yogi Adityanath tweeted.
"Hearty congratulations to Devendra Fadnavis for becoming the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for the second time. Also, congratulations to Ajit Pawar for taking oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state. The new government will continue the progress journey of Maharashtra at a faster pace," the Uttarakhand CM said.
Meanwhile, several top leaders from Sharad Pawar-led NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress expressed shock and displeasure over the development and accused BJP of misusing power and the constitutional authority of the state's governor for forming the government.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar clarified that the decision of going with BJP to form the government in Maharashtra is of his nephew Ajit Pawar, who took as Deputy Chief Minister today.
"Ajit Pawar`s decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his," Sharad Pawar tweeted
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut alleged Ajit Pawar has betrayed his party chief and political mentor Sharad Pawar and said that the latter will regret his decision of joining hands with the BJP.
Congress which suffered a major blow after its ally NCP aligned with the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra on Saturday asserted that the "tripartite negotiations" which included Shiv Sena should not have been stretched for so long.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi taking to twitter said that he is still not sure about NCP joining hands with BJP.
"Surreal what I read about #Maharashtra. I thought it was fake news. Candidly &personally speaking, our tripartite negotiations should not have gone on for more than 3 days...took too long. The window given was grabbed by fast movers. Pawarji tussi grt ho! Amazing if true, still not sure," Singhvi tweeted.
BJP, with 105 seats, came together with the Nationalist Congress Party, which bagged 54 seats, to reach the majority mark.
Earlier on Friday, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the alliance government.