As members of the Maharashtra legislative assembly arrived for the oath-taking ceremony at the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Wednesday, NCP MP and Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule was seen embracing cousin Ajit Pawar on his arrival.
“This day comes with a big responsibility,” Sule told reporters before pro tem Speaker Kalidas Kolambkar administered oath in the 288-member House.
The BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis had collapsed on Tuesday after Ajit Pawar’s resignation as deputy chief minister. Ajit Pawar, had lent support to the BJP, claiming that all 54 NCP MLAs were with him.
After Pawar and Fadnavis stepped down, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray staked claim to form government with the support of NCP and the Congress.
Speculations rife about his political future, on Wednesday Ajit Pawar said continued to be with the NCP and that there was no reason “to create” confusion about it.
“I have nothing to say (right now), I will speak at the right time. I had said earlier also, I am in the NCP and I will remain in the NCP. There is no reason to create confusion,” Ajit Pawar told reporters.
At the oathtaking ceremony, his family seemed to welcome his return to the party.
Party spokesperson Nawab Malik told News18, “In the end, he admitted his mistake. It is a family matter and Pawar Saheb has forgiven him. He is very much in the party and his position in the party has not changed.”
The Fadnavis saga
Devendra Fadnavis resigned as chief minister on Tuesday evening, barely 80 hours after taking oath for the second time, the move necessitated by Ajit Pawar’s resignation citing “personal reasons”.
Fadnavis had been sworn in on November 23 in an early morning hush-hush ceremony, with the support of Ajit Pawar, who then headed the 54-member NCP legislature party. The NCP removed Ajit Pawar as its legislature party leader soon after his decision to ally with the BJP.
The resignations of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar came hours after the Supreme Court Tuesday ordered floor test for him on Wednesday to prove his majority in the House saying there is a “possibility of horse trading” in case of delay.
Before submitting his resignation to Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Fadnavis said his government did not have the majority after Ajit Pawar quit.
Uddhav as CM
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in as the new Maharashtra chief minister at Shivaji Park on Thursday, News18 reported. He met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.
Uddhav will be the first from the Thackeray family to assume a government post. His father late Bal Thackeray wielded the ‘remote control’ over the first Sena-BJP combine government during 1995-99 but never assumed a position in the government.
On Tuesday, Thackeray thanked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her party and the NCP for their support. “I had never dreamed of leading the state,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)