Uddhav Thackeray-Sharad Pawar Press Conference: Live Updates from Maharashtra
Fadnavis takes oath as Chief Minister
Drama in Maharashtra: 8 AM Coup within the NCP. Here's background to the political drama unfolding right now:
Around 8 AM this morning, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister earlier. NCP chief Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar would be his deputy. The Shiv Sena accused Ajit Pawar of "stabbing it in the back". Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar are holding a live press conference right now.
For background on what has happened so far: https://www.asiavillenews.com/article/coup-within-ncp-sharad-pawar-says-party-does-not-endorse-decision-to-support-bjp-21620
Twist in Maharashtra: Fadnavis takes oath as Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar Deputy CM: https://www.asiavillenews.com/article/maharashtra-fadnavis-takes-oath-as-chief-minister-ajit-pawar-deputy-cm-32334-21618
Girish Mahajan,BJP: We will prove our majority with support of over 170 MLAs. Ajit Pawar has given a letter to Governor about support of his MLAs and as he is legislative party leader of NCP, which means all NCP MLAs have supported us— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra BJP President: Voters had voted for BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and we got 161 MLAs, but Shiv Sena betrayed the mandate. Since the first press conference they had started talking about alternatives.
BJP Working President, JP Nadda in Ahmedabad: I congratulate the people of Maharashtra, a stable government under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis ji has been formed. It is a sign of a mature democracy
Ajit Pawar has backstabbed people of Maharashtra, says Sanjay Raut
Mumbai: Sharad Pawar has called a meeting of all NCP MLAs at 4.30 pm today
PM Modi congratulates Devendra Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar on becoming Maharashtra CM, Deputy CM
Nagpur: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers celebrate after Devendra Fadnavis takes oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister, again. pic.twitter.com/t1ab9j4USH— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
Sharad Pawar: 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.
Sanjay Raut,Shiv Sena: Uddhav Thackeray ji and Sharad Pawar ji are in touch and will meet also today, they might also address the media together. But fact is that Ajit Pawar and the MLAs supporting him have insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Maharashtra
#WATCH Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: Kal 9 baje tak ye mahashaye (Ajit Pawar) hamare saath baithe the, achanak se gayab ho gaye baad mein. Vo nazro se nazre mila kar nahi bol rahe the, jo vyakti paap karne jata hai uski nazar jaise jhukti hai, waise jhuki nazro se baat kar rahe the. pic.twitter.com/dL6olqXFK9— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
Nawab Malik,NCP:Ye dhoke se banayi gayi sarkar hai aur ye vidhan sabha ke floor pe haaregi, saare vidhayak hamare saath hain.
Sanjay Nirupam: People would be thinking I will be happy by today's developments,but I am actually very sad. Congress has been unnecessarily defamed in this and thinking of alliance with Shiv Sena was a mistake. I appeal to Sonia ji to at first dissolve Congress Working Committee pic.twitter.com/dvg9sEBCDB— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
"Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan (mishmash government)," Devendra Fadnavis said after taking oath for the second time, adding that the 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.
From the Shiv Sena NCP Press Conference:
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi: Shiv Sena's culture in Maharashtra is same as RJD's in Bihar. Like there are ruffians & goons in RJD, it is the same in Shiv Sena. No government can run for long with a party like Shiv Sena, people in Nationalist Congress Party knew this. pic.twitter.com/R0plMjqXKe— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2019
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said it was the prerogative of the governor to invite a party to form a government.
"At this point of time in this programme, I do not wish to make any political statement. It was the prerogative of the governor," Singh said at an event in Lucknow. "The governor invited the person (to form the government) after he was satisfied."
At the event, Singh paid tributes to former servicemen and their families in Lucknow, and said the country is proud of them.
Addressing the audience, which had gathered at the AMC Stadium, Singh said: "The nation is proud of its armed forces and equally proud of its ex-servicemen, who can still discharge their duties if the need arises with same confidence. I am assured of this."
The defence minister visited various stalls put up at the stadium and also interacted with former servicemen and their widows.
Singh said Uttar Pradesh had been the birthplace of war heroes like Abdul Hamid and Manoj Pandey, adding that the entire nation would remain indebted to them
NCP MLAs 'fooled' into attending swearing in:
Dr Rajendra Shingne, and NCP MLA, said, "I received a call from Ajit Pawar at midnight and I was asked to come to meet Ajit Pawar at 7 am. I was told we need to have a discussion immediately. We were some 10-15 of us. We were taken to the Raj Bhavan. We did not know what was happening. Soon Fadnavis and other BJP members came there. Even before we could understand anything, the oath was given and the government was formed. It was shocking, but it was too late for us to even react. We soon headed to Sharad Pawar and told him what happened. We were fooled. I and others are still with Sharad Pawar."
Two other MLAs supported this claim.
"We are going to fight this situation both politically and legally," Congress's Ahmed Patel said. "We are going to make full use of every constitutional provision to fight the BJP. We won't let the BJP have this so easy. We are certainly disappointed. It is an unfortunate thing to have happened. All our legislatures are with us. We aren't worried of them defecting the party."
The opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday described the political developments in Maharashtra, where BJP formed government with the support of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar, as "disgusting."
DMK is a key constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
Party chief M K Stalin said even calling it a "murder of democracy" would be an understatement.
"What can one call the politically disgusting (development) in Maharashtra... is it indecency or ugliness..what can it be compared with," the DMK leader said in a Facebook post.
He asked if the BJP had "trampled political rules, made the Governor a puppet" and also used the President's office to sit in power, and if it was some kind of "sleight of hand."
"One feels even calling this a murder of democracy will become an understatement--if it will minimise the gravity of the situation," Stalin, also state Leader of Opposition, said.
"The face of Indian democracy has been blackened. This is a big shame," he added.
Squarely blaming the Shiv Sena for the dramatic turn of events in Maharashtra, Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday urged NCP chief Sharad Pawar to walk over to the NDA camp, hinting that he might be rewarded with a plum portfolio at the Centre.
He said Pawar should also consider backing his rebellious nephew Ajit Pawar - sworn in as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.
"Sharad Pawar, too, should consider revising his stance and joining the NDA. He may get some good portfolio at the Centre," Athawale said when asked about the difficulty the NCP faction headed by Ajit Pawar might face in engineering a split before the floor test on November 30.
Athawale, who heads the RPI a Maharasthra-based pro-Dalit outfit was here to attend a function in his capacity as the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Narendra Modi government.
The "clandestine" manner in which Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as the chief minister of Maharashtra will be written in black ink in the history of the state, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said on Saturday.
He also accused the BJP of crossing the limits of "shamelessness", adding democracy stands "shattered" after the saffrom party formed the government by joining hands with NCP president Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar.
Patel recalled that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had not invited the Congress to stake claim to form the government in the state after the BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP were asked to do so earlier this month.
"There was neither band-baja (celebration) nor a procession as the chief minister was sworn-in in a clandestine manner...the incident will be written in black ink in Maharashtra's history," Patel told reporters here.
He also said that the list of MLAs submitted to the Governor by Ajit Pawar was "not verified" and the Governor did not speak to anyone else.
"I can smell something is wrong the way oath was administered discretely...They have crossed limits of shamelessness," Patel said. He also dismissed charges that there was delay on part of the Congress to form government in the state with the Shiv Sena and NCP.
"These allegations are baseless," he said. Patel also said that the three parties will fight out on both political and legal front.
Accusing the BJP of "sordid manipulation", the Left parties on Saturday said it could do anything to "grab power", referring to the government formation by the saffron party in Maharashtra, backed by the NCP.
"Sordid manipulations for grabbing power. The political immorality of the BJP has reached its nadir. The clandestine manner in which the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra have been sworn-in shows the extent to which the BJP can stoop to grab power," the CPI(M) said in a statement.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) described the political developments in Maharashtra as a "mockery of democracy".
"The BJP has manipulated the situation with all powers at its command to grab power.
"Even before the people of Maharashtra could wake up from their sleep, the President's rule was revoked and the chief minister and the deputy chief minister were sworn-in," CPI general secretary D Raja said.
The development gave rise to several critical questions regarding the governor's role and the alleged misuse of the offices of governors and the president by the BJP, he added.
The Left parties also questioned the role played by the president's office in this development.
"It is unfortunate that both the constitutional authorities -- President's office and the Governor's office -- have been misused to achieve their political purpose," the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday claimed that NCP's Ajit Pawar was "blackmailed" into joining hands with the BJP to form government in Maharashtra.
He said Ajit Pawar might return to the NCP fold.
"NCP leader Dhananjay Munde has been contacted. Ajit Pawar may also return (to NCP fold). We have information how Ajit Pawar has been blackmailed and will expose this soon," Raut told reporters.
Munde, who is said to have been in touch with Fadnavis since the last few days, had gone incommunicado. He is said be supporting Ajit Pawar.
Munde was elected from Parli where he defeated his cousin and BJP leader Pankaja Munde.
"The new government was formed at 7 in the morning. In the cover of darkness only sins are committed," Raut said.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday condemned political developments in Maharashtra and demanded resignation of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on "moral grounds", asserting that he acted in connivance with the BJP to make Devendra Fadnavis chief minister.
“The details emerging from Maharashtra are shocking and show that the governor acted in connivance with the BJP and administered the oath of office to Devendra Fadnavis without verifying signatures of NCP MLAs,” Gehlot said.
“Governor must resign on moral grounds. He has no right to remain in office,” he said, while questioning the morality of revocation of president's rule in Maharashtra.
Targeting the BJP, Gehlot said the party was setting wrong precedence and taking the democracy in a wrong direction.
“The BJP is setting wrong precedents in the country. The president's rule was revoked at 5.47 am. What was the need to do that at such odd hours? It should be made clear why this was done in such a hidden manner. The oath was also administered early in the morning whereas this could have done during the day," he said.
“Looking at what has been done, the governor, who is the head of the state, should immediately resign on moral grounds. A governor is not supposed to act in such a manner which is a very wrong precedent in the country,” the chief minister said.
Gehlot said if the governor was convinced that there were sufficient MLAs for the government formation, the swearing-in ceremony could have been held during the day.
He demanded from the Centre and BJP leadership to come clean on the issue.
He also said both chief minister and deputy chief minister were "guilt conscious" and raised doubt whether the government will be able to deliver good governance.
Only people of Maharashtra will suffer, said Gehlot, adding, "People will teach a lesson to the BJP on appropriate time.”
“The democracy in the country is in danger and people should understand this,” he added.