Pro tem Speaker starts administering oath of office to newly-elected MLAs in Maharashtra

PTI | | Updated on: Nov 27, 2019

Ajit Pawar

The swearing-in of members of the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Wednesday marked a rare occasion when the House assembled for the session without formation of a government and appointment of chief minister.

State Vidhan Bhawan’s in-charge secretary Rajendra Bhagawat told PTI that during the last couple of decades, the Chief Minister was sworn in first followed by other members.

“The floor test is also then conducted immediately or in the following session. In the present case, no Chief Minister has been administered oath, but the swearing-in ceremony of House members is being held,” he noted. “The Supreme Court’s interim verdict has made it mandatory for us to carry out the swearing-in ceremony. Once the oath is administered to all MLAs, the Assembly will come into motion without a head and the Cabinet,” he said.

Bhagawat further said that once the Chief Minister takes oath, he will have to form a Cabinet. “The schedule of the next full session would be decided in the first Cabinet meeting. The floor test will be held in that session,” he added.

A special session of the state Assembly began here on Wednesday morning to administer oath to members in the 288- member House.

Ajit Pawar, Ashok Chavan, others take oath

In the House, pro tem Speaker Kalidas Kolambar announced Babanrao Pachpute, Vijaykumar Gavit and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil as the presiding officers for administering oath of the members.

NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Congress leaders and former chief ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and former speakers Dilip Walse Patil (NCP) and Haribhau Bagade (BJP) were among the members to take oath early.

Presiding officers Pachpute and Gavit were the first to take oath followed by caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Ajit Pawar was greeted with thumping of desks from NCP members when he went to the podium to take oath.

Newly-elected Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray was congratulated by members cutting across party lines. The 29-year-old son of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray went up to all senior members to greet them.

Kolambkar was appointed as the pro tem speaker by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening.

The newly-elected members could not take oath earlier even one month after the results of the Assembly polls were announced due to dramatic political developments in the state. The state remained under President’s rule for 13 days between November 12 and 23 after no political party was able to form a government.

Supreme Court's order

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to appoint a pro tem speaker and ensure all elected members of the House are sworn in on Wednesday itself by 5 pm. The BJP-led government, which was formed with the support of NCP leader Ajit Pawar on November 23, collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, after Pawar stepped down as deputy chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister.

The ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, comprising the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress, on Monday submitted a letter claiming support of 162 MLAs to the governor. The NCP has announced that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be the next chief minister of Maharashtra.

He will be sworn in as CM on Thursday evening at the Shivaji Park in Dadar, the place where his party holds the traditional Dussehra rally each year.

Published on November 27, 2019
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