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Numbers are with us: Sharad Pawar after Ajit Pawar's rebellion

Fadnavis took oath as CM Maharashtra even as Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress decided Friday evening to stake a claim to form a government

Saturday November 23, 2019 2:29 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Maharashtra Latest News Update

[Devendra Fadnavis with Maharashtra Governor after taking oath of CM office Saturday morning.]

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar while addressing a pres conference Saturday claimed that majority of the party MLAs are with him and what Ajit Pawar did was not the decision of his or his party.

"Numbers are with us. We will form the government", Pawar who was flanked by Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said.

Pawar and Thackeray jointly addressed the press conference hours after Devendra Fadnavis of BJP sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Fadnavis took oath as CM Maharashtra even as Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress decided Friday evening to stake a claim to form a government.

Maharashtra Governor administered the oath of CM office to Fadnavis after Ajit Pawar, NCP leader and nephew of Sharad Pawar, split the party claiming the support of some 21 party MLAs. Ajit Pawar took as Deputy Chief Minister.

However, Sharad Pawar said only 10-11 NCP MLAs were present during the oath taking ceremony in Raj Bhavan. Of them 03 MLAs joined the press conference and said they were "trapped" to reach the Raj Bhavan, and were not aware what was going on.

"Ajit Pawar had called me to discuss something and from there I was taken with other MLAs to Raj Bhavan. Before we could understand oath ceremony was complete. I rushed to Pawar Sahab and told him I am with Sharad Pawar and NCP", NCP MLA Rajendra Shingane said.

"All MLAs are with us. They will lose floor test", NCP leader Nawab Malik said.

"We had taken signatures from MLAs for attendance, it was misused as a basis for the oath", he said.

The NCP has called a meeting of its MLAs today at 04:30 pm.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said on that they would put up "a political and legal challenge" at the manner in which a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was sworn-in in Maharashtra under a shroud of secrecy at dawn on Saturday.

Speaking to the media, Patel said that from day one after the election results were declared, the role of the Governor in the entire issue was questionable.

"First, the BJP was invited, later Shiv Sena, then NCP, but the Congress was not given a chance to prove its majority or stake claim," Patel said while addressing the media soon after the Sena-NCP's joint briefing.

"Now, suddenly without verifying the list of supporting MLAs, the government has been formed -- there's some wrong, something is stinking somewhere," the Congress leader said.

He said the manner in which the swearing-in ceremony of the new government was carried out early in the morning with the presence of just one media, "they have exceeded all limits of shamelessness in flouting the democratic process, the laws and Constitutional niceties."

"A process was underway among the Sena-NCP-Congress, but before allowing it to be completed, everything was done in a secretive manner. We (three parties) had completed all our discussions and were to finalise a couple of points by today afternoon, but before that everything happened," Patel said, adding that he was taken by surprise.

The three parties will now resort to all "political and legal means" to tackle the issue which is a "blot on the state's political history", he said.

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