Maharashtra Government: Devendra Fadnavis Takes Oath As Chief Minister, NCP’s Ajit Pawar His Deputy
Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. (Photograph: PTI)

Maharashtra Government: Devendra Fadnavis Takes Oath As Chief Minister, NCP’s Ajit Pawar His Deputy

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Ajit Pawar's Biggest Mistake, Says Shiv Sena's Raut

Ajit Pawar took false documents to the Raj Bhawan yesterday which the Governor then accepted, said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in conversation with ANI. “Even if today, Governor asks us to prove majority, we can do it right now. 49 NCP MLAs are with us,” he said. In total, Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine have 165 MLAs, he added.

Raut went on to say that Ajit Pawar has made the “biggest mistake of his life by backstabbing Sharad Pawar at this age”.

Supreme Court Set To Hear Sena-NCP-Congress Plea Today

The Supreme Court of India is set to hear the joint petition by Shiv Sena, National Congress Party and Congress against the appointment of Devendra Fadnavis as Maharashtra’s chief minister, at 11:30 a.m. today.

The petition will be heard by a three-judge bench comprising of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi to appear for the Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party in Supreme Court today.

This comes after a day of dramatic politics which included allegations of kidnapping and blackmail among other multiple plot twists in the story of Maharshtra’s government formation which culminated in Devendra Fadnavis swearing in as the chief minister.

In The Meanwhile...

Maharashtra Drama Reaches Supreme Court

In the morning, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to have outwitted everyone to come to power in Maharashtra. Hours later, Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar seems to have engineered a comeback. And it’s still not over yet.

His nephew Ajit Pawar, the man at the centre of the drama, was sacked as the legislature party leader by the NCP on Saturday evening. That dealt a blow to the BJP’s math as the party had claimed support from at least 35 NCP legislators after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered oath to Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister and Ajit Pawar as his deputy early in the morning, and asked them to prove majority by Nov. 30.

The BJP with 105 MLAs in a 288-member state assembly had fallen short after Shiv Sena with 56 MLAs split the alliance seeking the chief minister’s post. Last night, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had emerged as the consensus leader for the alliance between the Shiv Sena, the NCP (54) and the Congress (44). But things changed overnight.

No one knew when the BJP and Ajit Pawar staked claim, and when the President’s Rule in the state was revoked—it later turned out that the notification came at 5:47 a.m. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s congratulatory twitter post broke the news to most people in the morning, setting off a day packed with drama.

Sharad Pawar and Thackeray went into damage control, calling a joint press conference. Pawar senior called his nephew’s decision to support the BJP his personal call and threatened action against him, saying the alliance was intact and had the support of NCP.

After series meetings and press conferences, his party’s MLAs who were at the rival camp’s morning oath ceremony started trooping back—at least nine had returned by evening. Sharad Pawar installed loyalist Jayant Patil as the head of the legislative group till a new leader is elected.

Meanwhile, the alliance moved the Supreme Court against the governor’s decision to call Fadnavis to form the government, terming his action “malafide” and “unconstitutional”.

Sena-NCP-Congress Combine Moves Supreme Court Against Fadnavis’ Swearing-In

Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress moved the Supreme Court against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision to swear in BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as Maharashtra’s chief minister. They called the action “arbitrary and malafide” and sought an urgent hearing, according to Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat. The top court’s registry accepted the petition.

“The decisions of the governor are ex facie illegal, unconstitutional and in the teeth of the well settled law laid down by the Supreme Court,” the petition said. The governor’s actions are a text-book example of him acting “at the behest of a political party in power at the centre”.

The governor had administered oath to Fadnavis and NCP’s Ajit Pawar— as deputy chief minister—early in the morning, setting off a series of claims and counterclaims from Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress and the BJP about support to the form the government.

Ajit Pawar Sacked As NCP Legislature Party Leader

The MLAs of the Nationalist Congress Party removed Ajit Pawar as the leader of the legislature party, in another twist to the swearing-in drama that kicked off early in the morning, the PTI reported.

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