Devendra, Ajit, others take oath as MLAs; Uddhav’s oath as CM on Thursday

Mumbai: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who has been chosen as leader of the SS-NCP-Congress combine, will take oath as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday.

His Council of Ministers will also take oath after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administers the oath of office and secrecy to him.

Thackeray is not a member of the House, and will have to win a seat within six months to keep his Chief Ministership. His son, Aditya, was elected as an MLA from Mumbai recently.

Earlier, a special session of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha commenced here on Wednesday morning in which the newly-elected members were administered oath by pro-tem Speaker Kalidas Kolambkar, who was nominated for the job by the Governor on Tuesday.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and ex-Deputy CM Ajit Pawar were among those who took oath as MLAs in the 288-member House.

After a month-long political impasse, both Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, who had taken oath only on Saturday last, had resigned on Tuesday. It was the first such instance when a CM had resigned the post twice in a month.

Due to a protracted political drama, the newly-elected members could not take oath even a month after results of the Assembly polls were announced on October 24.

The state remained under President’s rule from November 12 to 23 as no political party was able to form a government.

The Supreme Court had, on Tuesday, directed Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to appoint a pro-tem speaker and ensure all elected members of the House were sworn-in on Wednesday.

The ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, comprising the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress, on Monday had submitted a letter to the Governor, claiming support of 162 MLAs. A government needs support of at least 145 MLAs.

The NCP had announced that Thackeray would be the next chief minister of Maharashtra. His swearing-in ceremony will take place at Shivaji Maidan in Dadar in Mumbai where his party holds the traditional Dussehra rally each year.

State Vidhan Bhawan’s in-charge secretary Rajendra Bhagwat said that during the last couple of decades, the chief minister-designate was sworn in first of all, followed by other members. “The floor test is also conducted immediately or in the following session. In the present case, no chief minister has been administered oath, but the House members have been sworn-in”, he noted.

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