The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress may approach the Supreme Court after the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister on Saturday in a major overnight twist, sources have said. The parties are expected to move the top court over "blatant misuse of power" by Maharashtra Govenor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, according to sources.
Mr Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister at around 8 am today along with his deputy Ajit Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had pledged support to the Shiv Sena along with the Congress on Friday.
"Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan (mishmash government)," Devendra Fadnavis said after taking oath for the second time, adding that his party's former ally Shiv Sena "did not follow people's mandate". "We were invited by the Governor to form government. I thank NCP and Ajit Pawar for supporting us," he added.
Mr Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar took oath at around 8 am. Ahead of the sudden oath ceremony, President's rule was revoked at 5.47 am after an early morning signoff by President Ram Nath Kovind.
In a sign that something had been brewing, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had last evening cancelled his trip to Delhi for a three-day conference.
Ajit Pawar, the nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, had been present last night at a joint meeting after which the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress announced an alliance with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.
Sharad Pawar, however, claimed the NCP did not endorse Ajit Pawar's "personal decision", it is confirmed that the governor was handed letters of support from all NCP MLAs.
"Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his," the NCP patriarch tweeted.
In a veiled attack on Ajit Pawar, NCP leader Nawab Malik today said that his party had taken signatures from MLAs for attendance which were later misused. "We had taken signatures from MLAs for attendance, it was misused as a basis for the oath," Mr Malik was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, partners for over 30 years, fell out despite winning a majority together, with the Sena insistent on its "50:50" power-sharing demand including rotational chief ministership. The Sena, with 56 MLAs, had then turned to the NCP (54) and Congress (44) for support.