Mumbai: As events took a sudden dramatic turn in Maharashtra on Saturday with a faction of NCP led by Ajit Pawar joined hands with BJP and with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as chief minister, Congress is now planning to move its MLAs out of the state.
"Congress is planning to move its MLAs out of Maharashtra. They will be moved to a Congress-ruled state," Congress party source said on Saturday. Earlier in the day, Congress leader Ahmed Patel termed Ajit Pawar's support to BJP to form the government in Maharashtra as a "black spot" in the history of the state, stating that nothing can be more "shameful" than this.
Dismissing the allegation that Congress delayed government formation in Maharashtra with support of NCP and Shiv Sena, he said, "There was no delay from Congress party's end. As soon as we got Uddhav Thackeray's call, we met them. And we met Sharad Pawar as soon as he gave us time. The allegation that we delayed government formation in Maharashtra is completely baseless."
The Congress leader said except for two of its MLAs who had gone to their village, all their MLAs are in Mumbai. "There is no chance our MLAs will break, we are ready to defeat the BJP in the floor test. We will work out a strategy soon. We will fight BJP forming government in Maharashtra on both fronts- politically and legally," he said.
Speaking about the next political move to be taken by the Congress, Patel said, "Sharad Pawar ji announced yesterday only about the consensus on Uddhav Thackeray's name for the chief minister's post. We stuck to the same."
In a surprising development, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis earlier this morning took oath as the Maharashtra chief minister for the second consecutive term while Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister of the state. The oath was administered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhawan.
The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena on government formation seemed to have reached the final stage on Friday. The BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party in last month's assembly elections, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the chief minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by Koshyari. The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state. The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.
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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2019 17:58:08 IST