Congress calls Maharashtra coup 'black-day'; displays confidence in defeating BJP
On Saturday, the Congress held a press conference to address the recent developments in the state of Maharashtra. Earlier today, Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as the Chief Minister, while National Congress Party's Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy CM. The Congress described this as a "black day" in Maharashtra's history at the presser, which follows a joint NCP-Shiv Sena press conference.
'Governor did not invite us to form government'
Addressing the conference, Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, "No band, no baja, no baraat—the manner in which the swearing-in ceremony was conducted, I believe it will be remembered as a black day in Maharashtra's history." Detailing the events since the Maharashtra elections, Patel said Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari never invited Congress—the fourth-largest party in the assembly—to form the government, as "he should have."
Letter of support not verified, claims Patel
Patel alleged that the letter of support presented at the swearing-in ceremony had not been verified. At the joint NCP-Shiv Sena presser, NCP chief also claimed the letter was obtained deceitfully, with Ajit Pawar allegedly misusing his position as the party's legislative leader. Patel said the hushed manner in which the early morning oath-taking ceremony was conducted hints that "somewhere, something is wrong."
Sena-NCP-Congress will defeat BJP in confidence vote: Patel
Further, Patel said, "The Constitution and the democracy have been defaced... Nothing can be more disgraceful than that," adding that today's swearing-in ceremony "didn't follow the democratic protocol." Responding to queries, he added, "All three parties (Sena-NCP-Congress) are together and we will defeat the BJP in the confidence vote," displaying confidence in the loyalty of all 44 Congress MLAs against the threat of horse-trading.
Sharad Pawar calls all NCP MLAs for meeting
Further, NCP chief Sharad Pawar will hold a meeting of all party MLAs in Mumbai at 4:30 pm. According to India Today, the party will likely expel Ajit Pawar from the party, who was removed as party legislative leader earlier today. The NCP chief has threatened to expel MLAs siding with BJP. The party will also announce its new legislative leader at the meeting.
Here's a brief summary of what has happened today
Up until late Friday, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance was in the works, and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was set to become CM. In a drastic turn of events, early Saturday morning, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn-in as the CM and Deputy CM respectively. The NCP has since distanced itself from Ajit Pawar's decision, and plans to continue talks with the three-party alliance.