Shocked by the dramatic twist in Maharashtra government formation after Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar took oath this morning, Congress called it "betrayal" of people's mandate".
"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," tweeted Congress leader Milind Deora, quoting the line from the classic, "The Godfather".
In a massive overnight twist in Maharashtra, the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister in the early hours of Saturday, with a deputy, Ajit Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had just hours ago pledged support to the Shiv Sena along with the Congress.
"Illegal and evil manoeuvres take place in the secrecy of midnight. Such was the shame that they had to do the swearing in hiding. This illegitimate formation will self destruct," senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel tweeted.
Illegal and evil manoeuvres take place in the secrecy of midnight— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) November 23, 2019
Such was the shame that they had to do the swearing in hiding
This illegitimate formation will self destruct
Ajit Pawar, the nephew of Sharad Pawar, had been present last night at a meeting after which the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress announced an alliance with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister. The alliance talks picked up pace after Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave her approval to partnering the ideologically incompatible Sena.
The Sena ended its alliance with the BJP, its partner for over three decades, over its demand for equal share in power including rotational chief ministership. Uddhav Thackeray last Monday also called Sonia Gandhi and requested her party's support.
Ajit Pawar's uncle, NCP chief Sharad Pawar called his nephew's move his "personal decision and not one endorsed by the party. Sharad Pawar reportedly phoned Mr Thackeray and said he was "unaware".
Ahead of the sudden oath ceremony, which suddenly flashed on TV screens, President's rule was revoked at 5.47 am after an early morning signoff by President Ram Nath Kovind. Mr Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar took oath at around 8 am.
The Sena, with 56 MLAs, turned to the NCP (54) and Congress (44) for support. Just as it seemed that the alliance was finally on track, the BJP pulled off a coup.