Over a month after the state assembly results were declared in Maharashtra, newly-elected Maharashtra MLAs took oath at the special assembly session called by Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Wednesday. All the 287 newly-elected legislators of different political parties and Independents trooped down to the Vidhan Bhavan today for the Special Session of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly where they were sworn-in by the newly-appointed Pro Tem Speaker, Kalidas N. Kolambkar. Kolambkar was appointed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday. He administered the oath to the leaders.
Inside the legislature, among the early MLAs who took oath were former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, five-time MLA Dilip Walse-Patil and BJP member and former Cabinet Minister Haribhau Bagade. The oath-taking ceremony, as it proceeded smoothly, was telecast live, in accordance with Supreme Court orders of Tuesday and is expected to be completed by this evening.
The leaders were warmly welcomed with smiles and handshakes by Shiv Sena MLA Aditya Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule-Pawar, several Congress leaders, irrespective of the parties they belonged to, as they entered the Vidhan Bhavan. The sulking former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar created a flutter when he arrived with a wide grin, was greeted by his cousin Supriya Sule and then he gave her a warm hug as the cameras went into a frenzy. She also greeted former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with warmth and folded hands, touched him on the shoulder as he proceeded with a smile -- a never-before witnessed camaraderie among political stalwarts.
Supriya Sule also received former Speaker and senior BJP leader Haribhau Bagade and other leaders with warmth, presenting a relaxed atmosphere, in sharp contrast to the tension-filled political turbulence of the past one month.
Later, Chief Minister-designate Uddhav Thackeray is likely to drop in to South Mumbai to interact with his party leaders and legislators. Uddhav Thackeray was unanimously elected the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi for Chief Minister's post by the top leaders of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress.
The newly-elected members couldn't take oath even one month after the results of the assembly polls were announced, due to political ups and downs in the state.
The state remained under President's Rule for a period of 13 days between November 12 and November 23 in the wake of no political party able to form a government and the Assembly in suspended animation.
Earlier on Tuesday, ordering a floor test for the Devendra Fadnavis government, the apex court asked Koshyari to appoint a pro-tem speaker and ensure all elected members of the House are sworn in on Wednesday itself by 5:00 PM.
However, the BJP-led government, which was formed on the support of NCP leader Ajit Pawar on November 23, collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, after Pawar stepped down as deputy chief minister and Fadnavis as chief minister.