The new Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra will have only one deputy chief minister, who will be from the Nationalist Congress Party, while the Assembly Speaker will be from the Congress, ANI reported. Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the alliance, NCP MP Praful Patel also said that the deputy Speaker will be from his party.
Earlier in the day, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he will “say the right thing at the right time” when asked if he regretted allying with Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar. The two leaders resigned from their posts as chief minister and deputy chief minister on Tuesday afternoon.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be sworn in as the chief minister at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on Thursday.
Read more: Deputy chief minister to be from NCP, Congress gets Speaker’s post
Here are the developments from the day:
10.52 pm: Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray says he met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to invite them for the swearing-in ceremony, ANI reports.
9.45 pm: NCP leader Praful Patel tells reporters that a decision on how many ministers will take oath with Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday will be taken by the night. The Speaker will be from the Congress and the Deputy Speaker from NCP, Patel says.
There will be only one deputy chief minister and that will be from NCP, he says, according to ANI.
9.20 pm: Arvind Kejriwal will not attend the swearing-in due to private engagements, ANI reports.
8.44 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and DMK leader MK Stalin have been invited for Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in, PTI reports. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 6.40 pm on Thursday at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.
8.02 pm: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) decides not to oppose the formation of the new government in Maharashtra to ensure that the BJP does not return to power, PTI reports.
5.20 pm: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray meets Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, News18 reports. The two leaders are expected to discuss matters related to power-sharing.
5.17 pm: Amit Shah claims all Shiv Sena MLAs used cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during election campaign to garner votes. “In their Assembly seats, they used bigger cutouts of Modi than in seats where the BJP contested,” he adds. “Do people of the country and Maharashtra not know this”.
5.10 pm: Amit Shah reiterates that BJP did not give Shiv Sena assurance about the chief ministerial position, PTI reports. “Even in election rallies, when Aditya and Uddhav Thackeray were on stage we had said Devendra Fadnavis will be chief minister,” the BJP President says at the Republic TV Summit in New Delhi. “Why they didn’t oppose it then,” he asks.
4.50 pm: “Is it not horse-trading to take support by offering chief minister’s position,” asks Amit Shah. “I am again telling Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar to claim chief minister’s post and then take Shiv Sena’s support,” he adds.
4.45 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah says political parties with diametrically opposite ideologies have come together to form government in Maharashtra, PTI reports. At a function organised by Republic TV, he says they have discredited the mandate given by the people of Maharashtra.
4.40 pm: Maharashtra’s ministries have been divided between the three parties, according to News18. The Shiv Sena will get 16 ministries, the Nationalist Congress Party will get 15 and the Congress will get 13.
4.18 pm: Ajit Pawar after the meeting of NCP leaders says: “Chief minister will take oath tomorrow, I informed our MLAs about that programme and told them that all of us have to be there”.
4.15 pm: Shiv Sena leader Vinayak Raut says 400 farmers from various districts of Maharashtra have been invited for the oath taking ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, ANI reports. “To give respect to the farmers, family member of those farmers who committed suicide have also been invited,” he adds.
3.03 pm: Sanjay Raut says one should not be surprised if Shiv Sena comes to power in Delhi, ANI reports. “I have been saying this from the first day that we will form government,” he says. “I have said that our suryayaan will land safely on the sixth floor of the mantralaya [secretariat]. But everyone was laughing at us...People shouldn’t be surprised if Sena’s suryayaan lands in Delhi.”
2.45 pm: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut says BJP made “barbaric” attempts to retain power in Maharashtra, PTI reports. “This is because there is a dissent among the people of Maharashtra,” he adds. “The beginning of change is taking place from Maharashtra...Maharashtra has shown a new dawn to the country.”
2.37 pm: The Bombay High Court raises security concerns over the oath-taking ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, reports PTI. “We do not want to say anything about tomorrow’s ceremony...we are only praying that nothing untoward happens,” the court said while hearing a non-governmental organisation plea on whether the park was a playground or a recreation ground.
The Shivaji Park is a traditional venue for the party events including founder Bal Thackeray’s Dussehra rallies.
2.20 pm: Nationalist Congress Party leader Sunil Tatkare says Ajit Pawar should get a ministerial berth in the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government, Hindustan Times reported. “I want Ajit Pawar to get a Cabinet berth,” he says. “Not only I, many NCP leaders, all NCP leaders want Ajit Pawar to get a berth.”
Pawar had over the weekend allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form government in Maharashtra, but tendered his resignation on Tuesday.
1.56 pm: A meeting of all Nationalist Congress Party leaders is underway at YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai, reports The Indian Express. Ajit Pawar, who returned to the party after his rebellion, and other senior party leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Dilip Walse Patil are also present in the meeting.
1.52 pm: Shiv Sena leaders celebrate with sweets inside the Parliament premises.
1.44 pm: The oath has been administered to two MLAs – Independent leader Mahesh Baldi and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Mohammed Ismail – in Pro tem Speaker Kalidas Kolambkar’s chambers as they arrived after the House was adjourned, State Vidhan Bhawan’s in-charge Secretary Rajendra Bhagawat tells NDTV.
1.37 pm: NCP leader Ajit Pawar says he is not unhappy with anyone, adding that he will “accept any responsibility given” by his party, reports The Indian Express. “The decision to induct me in the Cabinet is to be taken by Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister.”
1.35 pm: Former Karanataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy criticises Devendra Fadnavis. “Popular adage ‘reap what you sow’ aptly applies to Fadnavis,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader tweets. “He has harvested the bounty he has sown. (BS Yediyurappa will soon land himself in a similar situation). BJP which is after lust for power, has paid a heavy price.”
Kumaraswamy is referring to the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in July after rebel legislators did not return to their parties before a crucial trust vote, bringing the BJP to power with Yediyurappa as the chief minister.
1.07 pm: Another Shiv Sena leader says the three-party alliance will prioritise the agrarian crisis in the state and not the bullet train project, reports NDTV. “It will, instead, focus on farmers’ welfare – a key election issue,” party spokesperson Manisha Kayanade says.
12.57 pm: NCP leader Jayant Patil says the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition wants to ensure all parts of the state are represented, and that development is carried out uniformly. “...even the remote parts or underdeveloped part, even Vidharbha, Marathwada,” he says, according to Hindustan Times. “Cabinet composition will be derived accordingly.”
12.50 pm: Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge arrive at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Mumbai, reports ANI.
12.49 pm: A Shiv Sena worker has quit, citing that his “ideology does not permit” him to work with the Congress. “I cannot work half-heartedly and it wont be fair to my post, my party my fellow Shiv Sainiks and my leaders,” Ramesh Solanki tweets.
12.43 pm: On speculation about Ajit Pawar’s induction into the new state Cabinet, senior NCP leader Jayant Patil says party chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray will decide who gets ministerial berths, reports Hindustan Times.
12.40 pm: The Shiv Sena’s opposition to the bullet train project in Maharashtra will continue, says party leader Pratap Sarnaik, according to News18. “However, there is no point in opposing Aarey Forest project now,” he says. “...the trees were felled overnight. So there are no trees there now.”
12.37 pm: Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat says it has not been decided whether Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi will attend Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in as the Maharashtra chief minister, reports News18.
12.32 pm: Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse says Devendra Fadnavis should not have taken Ajit Pawar’s support, reports News18. “My personal opinion is that [the] BJP should not have taken support of Ajit Pawar,” he says. “He is an accused in the massive irrigation scam and faces many allegations, so we should not have allied with him.”
The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday had closed its inquiries into nine corruption cases related to irrigation projects in the state. The agency said that none of these involved NCP leader Ajit Pawar. The irrigation scam dates back to 2009, when Pawar was the state’s water resources minister. He was accused of approving projects worth Rs 20,000 crore without seeking the clearance of the Governing Council of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation.
12.20 pm: Karnataka Congress leader Siddaramaiah says the political situation in Maharashtra is a “slap on the face of [the] BJP”. He asks how Devendra Fadnavis could take oath without knowing he did not have the numbers to prove his majority. “It was a violation of the Constitution,” he says, according to ANI. “Narendra Modi was equally involved in this insult to democracy, he was also hand-in-glove.”
12.16 pm: Aaditya Thackeray, a Shiv Sena leader and the son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, says all the parties will have to work together to “take Maharashtra forward”, Hindustan Times reports. “There are so many issues [to solve], it will be great to get cooperation from everyone,” he says.
11.53 am: Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis says he will “say the right thing at the right time” when asked if it was a mistake to form ties with Ajit Pawar, reports NDTV.
11.51 am: Senior Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Pradeep Mathur calls Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari a “BJP agent” and demands his dismissal for dragging the President’s office into the political crisis in the state, reports The Indian Express.
11.25 am: Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat says some Congress MLAs will be part of the Cabinet and take oath along with Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday, reports Hindustan Times. “But we have not yet decided who and how many from which party will be ministers,” he says. “Every party will get some important positions, that is for sure.”
11.20 am: NCP leader Nawab Malik says Ajit Pawar has admitted his mistake. “It is a family matter and Pawar sahib has forgiven him,” he tells ANI. “He is very much in the party and his position in the party has not changed.”
11.18 am: Supreme Court refuses to hear an urgent plea asking it to restrain the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance from forming a government in the state. The petition, filed by a voter, alleged that the parties have breached trust. “No urgency here”, says the bench, according to Live Law.
11.11 am: BJP MLA Babanrao B Pachpute says the whole programme changed following the Supreme Court’s order on the floor test. “A meeting of the core committee of the BJP was held where it was decided that since we do not have numbers, Devendra Fadnavis should resign; there should be no horse-trading,” he tells ANI.
11.09 am: Raut says the transformation of the future of India has begun in Maharashtra. “Everyone together took a decision that is beneficial to not only Maharashtra but the entire country,” he says, according to Hindustan Times. “[The] BJP could not force its chief minister despite wrong ways to do so.
11.07 am: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut claims he predicted Ajit Pawar’s return to the NCP. “On the day Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister, I had said that he will return,” Raut tells Hindustan Times. “And I also said one will have to take 100 births to understand Sharad Pawar.”
11.03 am: Officials at Raj Bhavan say Uddhav Thackeray reached at 9.15 am for a courtesy meeting with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and left at 9.50 am, reports NDTV.
10.59 am: Chidambaram says it “was an assault on the office of [the] Rashtrapati to wake him up at 4 am to sign an order revoking President’s Rule”.
He is referring to the BJP staking claim to form the state government early on Saturday morning, following which Fadnavis was sworn in as the chief minister along with Ajit Pawar as his deputy.
10.57 am: Former Union minister P Chidambaram asks the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance to work together. “Please subordinate your individual party interests and work together to implement the common interests of the three parties – farmers’ welfare, investment, employment, social justice and women and child welfare,” says a tweet from his account, which his family now handles.
The senior Congress leader is currently lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media case. The Supreme Court is expected to hear his bail plea today. The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, INX Media, and the company’s owners Indrani and Peter Mukerjea.
10.44 am: NCP leader Ajit Pawar says he is still with the party, a day after he resigned from the post of deputy chief minister. “I have nothing to say, I will speak at the right time,” he says, according to PTI. “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’s rebellious tie-up with the BJP and the subsequent early morning swearing-in ceremony with former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday had shocked his party. He was immediately removed as the party’s legislature unit leader.
10.34 am: “The ratio of portfolio-sharing will be finalised in [the] next two days,” says Thorat, the Congress Legislature Party leader in the House, according to PTI. “The number of Cabinet and Minister of State posts to be given to each party will also be finalised in [the] next two days.”
10.27 am: Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat says sharing of portfolios between the Shiv Sena, the NCP, and the Congress will be finalised in the next few days, reports PTI.
9.38 am: NCP MLA Rohit Pawar, the grand nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar, tells ANI: “We are happy that Ajit Pawar has come back. He is also here today. He is a part of NCP. Going forward, we would work under his guidance.”
9.33 am: Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat says no decision has been taken on the deputy chief minister’s post, according to ANI.
9.31 am: “The Supreme Court’s interim verdict has made it mandatory for us to carry out the swearing-in ceremony,” Bhagawat tells PTI. “Once the oath is administered to all MLAs, the Assembly will come into motion without a head and the Cabinet.”
9.29 am: The swearing-in ceremony in the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly marked a rare occasion when the House assembled before the formation of a government. State Vidhan Bhawan’s in-charge Secretary Rajendra Bhagawat says in the last few decades, the chief minister was sworn in first followed by the legislators, reports PTI.
9.27 am: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his wife Rashmi Thackeray meet Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan, reports PTI.
9.12 am: Presiding officers Babanrao Pachpute and Vijaykumar Gavit were the first to take oath, followed by caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, reports PTI.
8.55 am: NCP leader Ajit Pawar, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan all take oath.
8.45 am: Ahead of the ceremony, Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe says the party is happy that Balasaheb Thackeray’s dream is being fulfilled. “‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ will be led by Uddhav Thackeray, guided by Sharad Pawar and Soniaji madam has made an immense contribution to it, so we will do great work for Maharashtra,” she says.
8.40 am: “Lot of new responsibility,” Sule tells the media, according to The Indian Express. “Every citizen of Maharashtra stood by us.”
8.35 am: Sule and Pawar share a hug outside the Assembly session before the oath-taking of the 288 newly elected members begins.
8.30 am: Nationalist Congress Party leaders Surpiya Sule and Ajit Pawar arrive at the Maharashtra Assembly before the special session, ANI reports.
These are the developments from Tuesday: