Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party, its former ally Shiv Sena's President Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that the day's political developments at dawn in Raj Bhavan tantamount to a "Surgical Strike" on democracy in Maharashtra.
"Whatever we do or say, we say or do it openly, in broad daylight. Not secretly like this, at the dead of the night... This is a 'Surgical Strike' on democracy in the state," Mr Thackeray said.
He was speaking to the media on the political storm that engulfed the state after BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was suddenly sworn-in as Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar became the Deputy Chief Minister, around 8 am, by Governor BS Koshyari.
"Henceforth, there's no need to hold elections in the state. Just appoint anybody who claims that 'I will return' as CM," Mr Thackeray said, taking a swipe at Fadnavis' famous pre-election prediction - "Mee Punha Yaeen" (I will return).
Mr Thackeray said this was nothing but a sheer mockery of democracy - first in Bihar, then in Haryana and now in Maharashtra, and whatever has happened is not according to the Constitution.
The Sena chief's scathing comments came ahead of a crucial meeting of party leaders and legislators at the Sena Bhavan amid speculation that around half-a-dozen of its elected representatives were planning to quit and join the BJP.