Not aware of oath ceremony at Raj Bhavan, say three NCP MLAs

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Mumbai, Maharashtra Nov 23, 2019, 05.56 PM (IST)

Three Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators alleged they were not aware of an oath-ceremony when "they were taken" to Maharashtra Raj Bhavan earlier on Saturday morning and they were with party chief Sharad Pawar.

They made the remarks at a joint press conference addressed by Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The press conference was held hours after Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn-in as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively.

NCP MLA Rajendra Shingane said Ajit Pawar had called him to discuss something. "From there I was taken with other MLAs to Raj Bhavan," he said.

"Before we could understand the oath ceremony was complete, I rushed to Pawar sahab and told him I am with Sharad Pawar and NCP. I was taken there without any prior information," he said.

NCP MLAs, Sandip Kshirsagar and Sunil Bhusara, also echoed Shingane's allegations and affirmed their support to Sharad Pawar.

The NCP supremo said that the party will take action against his nephew for lending support to BJP for government formation in the state.

He also said that NCP will elect its new legislative party leader at 4 pm today.

"Ajit Pawar's decision is against the party line and is indiscipline. No NCP leader or worker is in favour of an NCP-BJP government. All the MLAs who are going must know that there is an anti-defection law and the possibility of them losing their assembly membership is high," Sharad Pawar said.

He said that NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, which have been in talks will form the government and Fadnavis will not be able to prove his majority.

"I am sure that the Governor has given them time to prove majority but they won't be able to prove it. After that, our three parties will form the government as we had decided earlier," he added.

In a sudden turn of events, Fadnavis earlier this morning took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister while Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to the two leaders.

The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena had seemingly reached a final stage.

The BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post.

The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.