Sat, 23 November 2019
Musharraf moves Lahore HC in treason case
23:10 Musharraf moves Lahore HC in treason case
Pakistan's former President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday moved the Lahore high court just days before a special court is scheduled to announce its verdict in the high profile treason case against him.
Musharraf has filed a petition in the Lahore high court against the special court for reserving judgment in the treason case, Dawn reported.
Musharraf's counsel Khwaja Ahmed Tariq Rahim approached the high court on his client's behalf, contending that the reserving of the verdict on November 19 was 'unconstitutional and void.'
It was pleaded before the court that the impugned order from that date be suspended and that "the trial in absentia being conducted against the petitioner" be stayed until his physical appearance before the court.
Citing the "landmark judgment" in the Mustafa Impex, Karachi vs The Government of Pakistan case, the petition has called for the decision in the case to be enforced and the trial in Musharraf's case to be re-initiated.
Additionally, the petition has argued that the federation of Pakistan and the Federal Investigation Agency "be directed to conduct a proper and unbiased investigation including the names of all alleged aiders and abettors for the proper appreciation of facts and evidence at trial."
It has also pleaded that the petitioner is granted his "constitutional right to a fair trial and audience in the instant trial" according to the law.
22:37 Will be happy if Ajit Pawar returns: NCP
The NCP meet has ended and the MLAs, along with Sharad Pawar, have been moved to a hotel in Mumbai's Powai area.
Talking about the meet, the new NCP legislative party leader Jayant Patil said that the party had the support of 42 MLAs and seven of them have been in touch.
When asked about action against Ajit Pawar, he responded saying that a decision would be taken by Sharad Pawar and him and that would come later.
He added, "Tried contacting Ajit Pawar, will be happy if he returns."
The new NCP legislative party leader also seemed confident and said that Fadanvis would fail on floor of the assembly.
22:20 Prez should intervene in Maha matter: Gehlot
President Ram Nath Kovind should intervene in the matter of Maharashtra, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday, questioning what was the need to do all this in a hidden manner.
"The President's Rule was scrapped at 5.47 am. The oath of office and secrecy was administered at 8 o'clock. What was the need to do that at such odd hours? Why they have done that in such a hidden manner? The President should intervene in the matter and question why the President's Rule was revoked," Chief Minister Gehlot told reporters.
The Rajasthan chief minister said that both Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy Ajit Pawar are 'guilt conscious.' "How are they going to serve the people now," he asked.
Demanding Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's resignation, the Congress leader said: "The Governor, who is the head of the state, should resign on moral grounds. The way the BJP has overnight formed the government will be remembered in the history of Indian politics."
In a dramatic turn of events, while Fadnavis was sworn-in as the Chief Minister on Saturday morning, while Ajit Pawar of the NCP became his deputy.
Today's developments came at a time when deliberations among Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena had seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.
Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus over Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to be the chief minister of the alliance government.
21:40 SC to hear Cong-NCP-Sena plea at 11.30 am on Sun
In what can be viewed as a slap on the face of the Maharashtra Governor, the Supreme Court will hear the NCP-Sena-Cong petition seeking urgent floor test in Maharashtra at 11.30 am tomorrow -- on a Sunday.
Earlier in the evening, the three parties filed a joint petition against the decision of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis to form the government.
The parties sought quashing of the Governor's decision saying the Governor's decision was "unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void-ab-initio, and violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India".
21:33 NCP meet ends, MLAs ferried to hotel
The NCP meet has ended with a resolution to remove Ajit Pawar as the legislature party leader.
After the meet ended, the MLAs were taken away by bus and according to sources, they are being moved to the Renaissance Hotel in Powai in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the Sena MLAs are holed up in the Lalit Hotel near Mumbai airport and the Congress MLAs are going to be moved to Bhopal or Jaipur.
20:57 'Governor was misled, Fadnavis must quit as CM'
Congress leader Ashok Chavan on Saturday alleged that as most of the NCP MLAs, who were said to be backing the BJP in Maharashtra, attended a meeting convened by the NCP later, it was clear that Devendra Fadnavis had "misled" the governor.
Fadnavis should, therefore, quit as chief minister, Chavan said.
In a stunning sequence of events in the morning, Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister and Ajit Pawar, who broke away from the NCP, as his deputy by governor B K Koshyari.
However, as the day progressed, many of the NCP MLAs who attended the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan gave statements that they continued to be with the NCP and affirmed faith in the leadership of party supremo Sharad Pawar.
"Forty-eight MLAs belonging to NCP, whose signatures were shown as support for the BJP, were present at the NCP meeting (later) in the evening," Chavan said.
"Ajit Pawar misled Fadnavis and Fadnavis misled the governor," he alleged.
"When Fadnavis resigned earlier as chief minister (after the BJP said it was not in the position to form government), he had said his party would not poach MLAs. Now he must resign as they don't have the numbers," Chavan, a former CM, said.
"Ajit Pawar should also quit, own up his mistake and return to the NCP," the Congress leader said.
The NCP has alleged that signatures of its MLAs were misused to show them as support for the BJP.
20:46 17 NCP MLAs missing from party meet
Of the 50 NCP leaders present at the NCP meeting currently, 13 are MLCs, say sources. So, total 17 MLAs are missing from the meet including Ajit Pawar, claim sources.
At the meet, the party also removed Ajit Pawar as the party's legislature unit leader after he joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party and took oath as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.
The meeting, convened by Pawar after the dramatic developments of the morning, was attended by 49 of 54 party MLAs, and the party expected remaining legislators to join them, sources said.
Ajit Pawar, the NCP chief's nephew, had been elected as the legislature party leader on October 30 following the results of the Maharashtra assembly elections.
The resolution passed at the meeting also said that Ajit Pawar's right to issue a whip were also revoked.
20:32 Nobody should object to Guv asking BJP to form govt in Maharashtra: Rajnath
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that there was no reason for the Congress, Shiv Sena or Sharad Pawar to have doubts on the role of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in government formation in Maharashtra.
"The Governor can ask anyone to form the government when he is fully satisfied that the party has the majority needed. It is up to the Governor's discretion, nobody should have an objection to that," Singh said.
Responding to the allegations that the BJP would fail in the majority test in the state Assembly, being raised by the Congress and Shiv Sena, Singh said, "Let us see what happens in floor test but I believe that they must have had required numbers, that is why they were invited. The majority will have to be proven in the floor test, but I have faith that the Governor must have felt that they (BJP) have a majority and only then did he allowed us to stake a claim."
19:59 Ajit Pawar removed as legislative party chief
Ajit Pawar removed as NCP legislative party chief.
The NCP has announced that Dilip Walse Patil will be the new NCP legislature party head.
The action came after the NCP MLAs met at the YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai. Four NCP MLAs including Ajit Pawar gave the meet a skip. At least seven legislators claimed to have returned to the party fold and pledged their loyalty to Sharad Pawar.
Dilip Bankar and Manikrao Kokate, the MLAs from Nashik district, tweeted separately saying they were kept in dark about the oath-taking ceremony.
Earlier, five NCP MLAs Rajendra Shingne (Buldhana), Sandeep Kshirsagar (Beed), Sunil Shelke (Maval), Sunil Bhusara (Vikramgad), Narhari Zirwal (Dindori) and Sunil Tingre (Wadgaon-Sheri) returned to the NCP fold after attending the oath-taking ceremony.
19:42 Shiv Sena seeks floor test within 24 hours
A writ petition has been submitted in the Supreme Court by NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress against Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the Governor of Maharashtra.
They are demanding that governor's actions in the morning should be declared illegal and Sena-NCP and Congress should be invited to form the government in Maharashtra.
Additionally, the petition alleges that it is a minority government and the governor exercised his discretion illegally. Floor test should be done within 24 hours to ward off further horse trading, the petition says.
Congress Leader and senior SC lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi will appear for Shiv Sena if there is a hearing.
19:35 Jiska Governor uski sarkar: Akhilesh Yadav on Maharashtra developments
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday took a sarcastic jibe at the political developments in Maharashtra apparently targeting the BJP.
"Ab to lagta hai ki, 'jiska Governor uski Sarkar'," the Samajwadi Party chief said. "In the morning, I was thinking that some other party would form the government in Maharashtra. However, now I feel that whosoever has the governor will form the government," Yadav said.
His comments came after Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning took oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra, ending a month-long impasse in the state.
In a surprising turn of events, Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister after he "decided to form a stable government" with the BJP in the state.
19:12 BJP formed govt in Maha with support of 170 MLAs: Mungantiwar
The BJP in Maharashtra has support of 170 MLAs in the 288-member House, senior party leader Sudhir Mungantiwar claimed on Saturday, which was marked by NCP leader Ajit Pawar's coup that saw Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as chief minister for a second term.
Ajit, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, took oath as deputy chief minister.
Not many had an inkling of the early morning swearing in ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan, which some called a "clandestine" affair.
Against the backdrop of these development, Mungantiwar said the BJP would provide a stable and performing government.
"Ajit Pawar is the NCP legislature party leader and it means everyone has given support to the BJP", Mungantiwar said
amidst confusion over the exact number of MLAs of the Nationalist Congress Party supporting the fledgling government.
"The BJP and its ally were given a clear mandate but the ally disrespected it. In order to respect the mandate given to us, we formed a government today with the support of 170 MLAs," Mungantiwar, who represents Ballarshah seat, told reporters at his office.
The halfway mark is 145.
"The government will serve the general public for the upliftment of farmers, underprivileged people, unemployed youths and women in the state in the next five years with full enthusiastically," he said.
18:46 Sena moves SC against 'partisan' Governor
Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has moved the Supreme Court to file a writ petition against BJP's government formation in Maharashtra.
"It is submitted that the Honble Governor has acted in a partisan manner and has made a mockery of the high office of the Governor. It is respectfully submitted that the Governors actions between the intervening night of 22.11.2019 and 23.11.2019 culminating to the swearing in on the 23.11.2019 are a text book example of the Governor acting at the behest of a political party in power at the Centre. Unfortunately, the facts in this case demonstrate that the Honble Governor has belittled the constitutional office of the Governor and has allowed himself to be a pawn in BJPs illegal usurpation of power," the Shiv Sena's petition stated.
The move to the SC comes after Uddhav Thackeray met with his MLAs who have been moved to the Lalit Hotel near Mumbai airport.
During his meet with his legislators, Uddhav assured them that their dream would be realised and they would form the government with a Sena man at the helm.
18:35 Sena to move court against governor?
Here's an important update, courtesy Rajdeep Sardesai.
The senior journalist has tweeted, "Shiv Sena prepares a writ petition to file in SC claiming that governor's invite and swearing in ceremony of Devendra Fadnavis was illegal. Morning, Sena indicated won't take battle to court; now it may end up in Supreme Court yet again."
18:16 Sena will form govt: Uddhav to MLAs in hotel
Uddhav Thackeray met his MLAs who are now living at the Lalit Hotel near the airport in Mumbai.
During the meet, the Shiv Sena chief assured his legislators that the party will form the government in Maharashtra and the CM will be from the Sena.
Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader said that all the 44 MLAs of Congress will be moved to either Jaipur or Bhopal, in Congress ruled Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.
These MLAs will be back in Mumbai on Nov 28 or 29 when the floor test is scheduled to be held at the Maharashtra assembly.
17:56 Cong MLAs moving out, Sena MLAs to stay put
A senior Congress leader said that all the 44 MLAs of Congress will be moved to either Jaipur or Bhopal, in Congress ruled Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.
These MLAs will be back in Mumbai on November 28 or 29 before the floor test at Maharashtra assembly.
"We want all our MLAs to stay together and that's why we want them take them to either Bhopal or Jaipur," this Congress leader said even as he denied reports of some Congress MLAs defecting to the BJP.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who just met his elected MLAs at the Lalit Hotel near Mumbai Airport has decided that Sena MLAs will stay put at The Lalit.
"No, Shiv Sena MLAs are not going out of Mumbai," the party's MLA from Thane Pratap Sarnaik said.
-- Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com reports
17:36 'Rebel' Dhananjay Munde arrives for NCP meet
Hours after the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as chief minister of Maharashtra with the Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar, the NCP was counting who in its ranks had broken away with go with the BJP.
Dhananjay Munde, a senior NCP leader who was believed to be with Ajit Pawar, made a dramatic entry into the NCP headquarters, where party chief Sharad Pawar had called his flock.
Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde and five other NCP MLAs were said to be with the BJP.
But as the five MLAs were flown to Delhi, Dhananjay Munde was seen returning to Sharad Pawar's faction.
17:19 Maharashtra govt formation 'undemocratic', people's mandate 'disrespected': AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday termed the government formation in Maharashtra "undemocratic" and said it has "disrespected" the mandate of the state's people.
The month-long political impasse in Maharashtra ended dramatically earlier in the day with the Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as the chief minister. Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister.
Ajit is the nephew of NCP president Sharad Pawar.
"The way the government was formed in Maharashtra is undemocratic and it disrespected the mandate of the people of the state," senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh said.
"The dark act that took place in Maharashtra in the dark of night is the act of killing the dignity of democracy of this country," he said.
Singh said the role of the governor has been reduced to that of a "gatekeeper who is saluting those in power".
"Raj Bhavan has turned into Raja Bhavan," he said.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered oath to Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar at the Raj Bhavan after President's rule was revoked in the state at 5.47 am.
Singh asked how the government was formed in Maharashtra despite the two parties not having the numbers.
"Even if the BJP's 105 MLAs and 22 MLAs (from the NCP) come together, the number still stands at 127, which is below the majority mark. The move (to form the government) is an attempt to sabotage political parties," he said.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to take a dig at the developments in Maharashtra.
"Abki baar - chori chhipe sarkar," he said.
16:59 Congress to move its MLAs out of Maharashtra
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.
16:42 Modi hai toh mumkin hai: Fadanvis at BJP office
Devendra Fadnavis met BJP workers outside party office in Mumbai. The new CM was given a hero's welcome with drum play, crackers bursting and sweets being distributed.
Addressing the workers, Fadnavis said, "We will provide a stable government. Modi hai toh mumkin hai!!"
Early on Saturday morning, in a mega coup, Fadnavis was sworn in as the new chief minister of the state along with a new deputy chief minister in the form of Ajit Pawar, from the Nationalist Congress Party.
16:22 Had told you that anything can happen in cricket and politics: Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday that "anything can happen in cricket and politics", and expressed confidence that the new BJP-led government in Maharashtra will pass the floor test.
The BJP's Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday returned as Maharashtra chief minister for a second term, propped up by
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who took oath as deputy chief minister.
Speaking to the media here, the senior BJP leader, asked for his reaction to the dramatic developments, said, "As
I had commented earlier, anything can happen in cricket and politics. Now you would have understoodthe importance of my
"I congratulate Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. They will prove the majority in the house in the period given by
the governor," Gadkari said.
Maharashtra will get a stable government under the leadership of Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar and witness further development, he added.
16:06 BJP will never ally with NCP: Fadnavis in 2014
Twitter, unfortunately, for tweet-happy people never lies. Nor does it forget.
A 2014 tweet by Devendra Fadnavis in September 2014, almost a month before Maharashtra went to the polls, says the BJP will never ally with the NCP since their corruption was proved in the Assembly.
Five years on, as the ED is set to probe Ajit Pawar on corruption charges, a new friend and a new ally for the BJP.
No permanent friends, neither enemies.
15:51 Listen to needs of people: PM tells governors, lt governors
After the coup d'etat this morning, this is what HM Amit Shah, fondly referred to by his party as Chanakya, and PM Narendra Modi did.
The Prime Minister helmed a meeting with governors and lieutenant governors in New Delhi and asked them to listen to the needs of the people and work towards the upliftment of the underprivileged sections of the society, including minorities.
15:44 Those trading ideology can't invoke Shivaji: BJP
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP addressing the press conference, originally slated for 2:30 pm. Highlights...
"Mumbai is the financial capital of India and Maharashtra is a big state. It was a conspiracy (by NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress) to control Mumbai through the backdoor.
"Throughout the election campaign, Devendra Fadnavis' name was projected as the Maharashtra Chief Minister. The support base of the BJP and the prospect of Devendra Fadnavis becoming CM, played a crucial role in the success of Shiv Sena candidates.
"The mandate was in favour of Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis has a clean image and ran a stable government. Shiv Sena won seats because he was Maharashtra's CM face. Sena benefitted from it.
"Now, the Sena-Cong-NCP is alleging that the BJP is indulging in match fixing. If the Congress-NCP-Sena had the mandate to form government, why didn't they do so? We have been watching them for some time now, it is our right to do so.
"The Shiv Sena has let down the legacy of Bal Thackeray. Those trading ideology for power can't invoke Shivaji Maharaj."
The jibe at the Sena was made in reference to Uddhav Thackeray's remark at the joint press conference with Sharad Pawar where he said "Everyone knows what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did when he was betrayed and attacked from behind," he said, adding that Sena workers will foil all attempts to poach party MLAs.
15:32 Gadkari on politics and cricket quip: Do you understand what I meant?
And a witticism from Union Minister & BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Maharashtra govt formation: "I had earlier said anything can happen in cricket and politics, now you can understand what I meant."
15:30 Cong to move MLAs to outside Maharashtra
BJP's presser by union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has just ended. But before we give you the details, here's some news: Resort politics begins with the Congress planning to move its MLAs out of Maharashtra. They will be moved to a Congress ruled state. With the governor giving the BJP one whole week to prove its majority in the floor of the house, that's more than enough time for horse trading.
15:06 Prez rule revoked before Maha awoke: CPI
Accusing the BJP of "sordid manipulation", the Left parties on Saturday said it could do anything to "grab power", referring to the government formation by the saffron party in Maharashtra, backed by the NCP.
"Sordid manipulations for grabbing power. The political immorality of the BJP has reached its nadir. The clandestine manner in which the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra have been sworn-in shows the extent to which the BJP can stoop to grab power," the CPI(M) said in a statement.
"The BJP has manipulated the situation with all powers at its command to grab power. Even before the people of Maharashtra could wake up from their sleep, the President's rule was revoked and the chief minister and the deputy chief minister were sworn-in," CPI general secretary D Raja said.
The development gave rise to several critical questions regarding the governor's role and the alleged misuse of the offices of governors and the president by the BJP, he added.
14:36 Cong for Ajit's expulsion from NCP: Reports
The Congress party will ask for Ajit Pawar's expulsion from the Nationalist Congress Party if he has joined hands with the BJP without his party chief Sharad Pawar's consent, top Congress sources have told ANI.
"The Congress party will ask Ajit Pawar's expulsion from the NCP if he has joined hands with the BJP without Sharad Pawar's consent," they said.Sources added that the party will also raise a question on how the governor administered the oath to BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister and Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra without the letter of support.
14:16 Final stage mein tha, phir kaand ho gaya: Cong
So, the Congress presser by Ahmed Patel who had Mallikarjuna Kharge seated next to him.
"Today was a black day in the history of Maharashtra. Everything was done in a hushed manner and in the early morning hours. There is something is wrong somewhere. Nothing can be more shameful than this," he said.
"All the three (Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena) parties are together and I am confident we will defeat BJP in the trust vote. All Congress MLAs are present here except two who are right now in their village, but they too are with us. We will fight this on both fronts, political and legal."
When asked if the coup happened because the Congress had delayed the process of forming government, Patel said, there was no delay. Congress never delayed the decision (on tie-up and forming govt). "There are certain formalities that have to be ironed out. Final stage mein tha, uske baad yeh kaand ho gaya. The discussions were in the final stage and then this incident happened," he said.
14:07 Ajit Pawar may come back to NCP: Raut
The Congress presser by Ahmed Patel has just ended. But before we tell you what the party had to say, Sanjay Raut, the Shiv Sena's chief negotiator says that of the eight MLAs who had gone with Ajit Pawar, 5 have come back. "They were lied to, put in a car, and sort of kidnapped. Agar himmat hai to vidhaan sabha mein majority saabit kar ke dikhaye. If you have the courage, win the floor test in the vidhan sabha and show us."
"We are in touch with Dhananjay Munde and there is a possibility of even Ajit Pawar coming back. Ajit has been blackmailed, it will be exposed who is behind this, in Saamna newspaper soon," Raut added.
Raut seems to know more about Ajit Pawar than the NCP chief himself, who will most likely be sacked from the party this afternoon at the NCP's 4:30 pm meeting. Pawar has already been sacked as the party's legilative party leader.
13:44 Uddhav dares BJP: Try and break my party
Lot of bluster, but is it just bluff? Time will tell.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who barely spoke at the presser had this to say: "This is a surgical strike on democracy. The BJP is breaking all rules. Let them try and break my party. My MLAs will not allow it."
Thackeray who was accompanied by son Aaditya and other party leaders said the situation is getting hysterical ever since Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra today.
"Earlier EVM 'khel' was going on and now this is new khel. From here onwards I don't think elections are even needed. Everyone knows what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did when betrayed and attacked from behind," Thackeray told reporters.
Shiv Sena and NCP addressed a joint press conference after Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra for the second term earlier in the day.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has clarified that the decision of going with BJP to form the government in Maharashtra is of his nephew Ajit Pawar, who took as Deputy Chief Minister today.
13:36 Pawar parades 3 MLAs who went for swearing-in
More updates from the presser: Sharad Pawar prophesies that the government will fall on November 30. That's when the governor has called for a floor test.
Pawar parades three of the 10 MLAs who accompanied Ajit Pawar to the Raj Bhavan this morning. NCP MLA Rajendra Shingane says, "Ajit Pawar had called me to discuss something and from there I was taken with other MLAs to Raj Bhavan. Before we could understand the oath ceremony was complete. I rushed to Pawar Sahab and told him I am with Sharad Pawar and NCP."
Two more NCP MLAs Sandip Kshirsagar and Sunil Bhusara also allege that they were unknowingly taken to the oath ceremony and that now they have come back and expressed support to Sharad Pawar.
13:26 Wonder if Ajit did it fearing probe: Sharad Pawar
More on the Sharad Pawar-Uddhav Thackeray presser:Nationalist Congress Party Chief, Sharad Pawar, says, that a new NCP legislative party leader will be elected at 4 pm. Sharad Pawar will be holding a meeting of party MLAs at 4:30 pm.
The NCP chief also said action against Ajit Pawar will be taken as per the procedure at the meeting. When asked why did Ajit Pawar defect, his uncle says, "I don't know if he (Ajit Pawar) has done this fearing investigating agencies or not. As per my source, 10-11 MLAs were there in Raj Bhavan and out of those, 3 are already here sitting with me."
13:02 All MLAs with Ajit in touch with us: Sharad Pawar
Shiv Sena-NCP address the media at the YB Chavan Centre in Mumbai. This is the first time the two leaders are addressing a joint presser since the decision to form a tripartite government in Maharashtra.
Highlights from Sharad Pawar's address who has Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray seated next to him.
-- "Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP leaders came together to form Government. We had the numbers. We had our official numbers - 44, 56 and 54 MLAs with us who had supported the govt. Several independent were also with us and we had numbers around 170.
"In the morning the situation changed. Ajit Pawar to MLAs to Raj Bhavan. I got to know about the revocation of President's Rule at 6:30 am.
"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.
"All MLAs with Ajit Pawar are in touch with us.
"Parties had their MLAs list signed by all MLAs, a similar list of NCP was with Ajit Pawar, as he is CLP of NCP. I assume that he has submitted the same list. I am not sure about this but I suspect that this may be the case. We will discuss with Governor."
Testimonies from other MLASs: NCP MLA Rajendra Shingane: "Ajit Pawar had called me to discuss something and from there I was taken with other MLAs to Raj Bhavan. Before we could understand oath ceremony was complete. I rushed to Pawar Sahab and told him I am with Sharad Pawar and NCP."
12:45 BJP presser at 2:30 pm, Sena-NCP presser begins
After the NCP-Sena presser, the Bharatiya Janata Party will address the media at the party's state office in Mumbai at 2.30 pm today. Clearly, the timing after the NCP-Sena presser indicated allegations made at the presser, and they will be made, will be addressed by the BJP at their presser. The Congress, which was the third wheel in the alliance with the Sena, will not be part of the joint presser.
12:29 Supriya Sule receives Thackerays ahead of presser
Nationalist Congress Party's Supriya Sule receives Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya Thackeray outside YB Chavan Centre, where Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena will address the media shortly. Sule in her tweet, referring to Ajit Pawar, her cousin brother, said, "Loved him. Defended him. Look what I get in return." Slogans raised in support of Sharad Pawar and against Ajit Pawar by a group of NCP workers outside YB Chavan Centre where Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena will address the media shortly.
12:24 Prerogative of governor: Rajnath on Maha govt formation
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh weighs in on the government formation in Maharashtra saying it was the prerogative of the governor to invite a party to form a government. The comments come after BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar took oath as the Maharashtra chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively on Saturday in an unexpected development a day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray emerged as the Sena-NCP-Congress' consensus candidate for the top post.
"At this point of time in this programme, I do not wish to make any political statement. It was the prerogative of the governor," Singh said at an event in Lucknow. "The governor invited the person (to form the government) after he was satisfied."
12:13 Sharad Pawar arrives for 12:30 pm joint presser
Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and Ahmed Patel arrive for the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena joint press conference at the YB Chavan Centre in the city. Pawar will also hold a meeting of his party MLAs at 4.30 pm, in the wake of his nephew and legislature party leader Ajit Pawar joining hands with the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra on Saturday.
12:11 Security beefed up at offices of political parties
In the wake of dramatic political developments in the state, security has been beefed up at offices of political parties and leaders' residences to prevent untoward incidents, an official said on Saturday. Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in as his deputy at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.
There is heavy police deployment outside NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence Silver Oak, the official said, adding that the police have placed barricades to restrict movement of vehicles in the area. "We are keeping a close watch on the situation in the city after the latest political development, and have increased security at sensitive locations," a spokesperson of the Mumbai police said.
All appropriate measures are being taken to ensure that citizen are not inconvenienced, he added. Following the political situation, security details of political leaders are also being analysed and will be increased accordingly, another police official said.
Security has been beefed up at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's residence Matoshree, BJP state headquarters in Nariman Point, Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan and chief minister's official residence Varsha. -- PTI
12:04 Never felt so cheated in life: Supriya Sule
If a WhatsApp status is anything to go by, Supriya Sule, Senior NCP leader and daughter of Sharad Pawar's latest status confirms that the NCP's first family has split with Ajit Pawar. News agency ANI also reports that her office has confirmed the statement (the WhatsApp status). She declined to speak, saying, "I will speak after the official joint press conference of the three parties." Sule's another WhatsApp status read: "Who do you trust in life. Never felt so cheated in life. Defended him, loved him. Look what I get in return."
Sharad Pawar tweets: "Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his.
Sharad Pawar had tweeted to say, "Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his."
The Pawar patriarch has called a meeting of all NCP MLAs at 4.30 pm today. He will also be addressing a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at 12:30 pm.
Nawab Malik of the NCP says that the party MLAs who has expressed support and whose signatures have been presented to validate numbers by Devendra Fadnavis before Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari were in fact taken from the attendance sheet. "It was misused as a basis for the oath," Malik said. 22 NCP MLAs have expressed support to the BJP-Ajit Pawar government in Maharashtra.
12:02 Amruta Fadnavis congratulates her husband
Amruta Fadnavis on Saturday congratulated her husband Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar on taking oath as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively.
"Congratulations Shri @Dev_Fadnavis & Shri @AjitPawarSpeaks! You have done it!" she tweeted.
In a sudden dramatic turn of events, Fadnavis earlier this morning took oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister for the second consecutive term while Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
Image: A throwback picture of Amruta Fadnavis during her husband's swearing-in ceremony as Maharashtra CM in 2014.
11:42 I'm actually very sad with today's developments: Nirupam
Congress' Sanjay Nirupam, who had cauthioned his party against any alliance with Shiv Sena said today, "People would be thinking I will be happy by today's developments, but I am actually very sad. Congress has been unnecessarily defamed in this and thinking of alliance with Shiv Sena was a mistake. I appeal to Soniaji to at first dissolve Congress Working Committee."
Nirupam, a former chief of the Congress Mumbai unit, has been a vocal opponent of any tie-up with Sena. He had yesterday tweeted that Congress president Sonia Gandhi shouldnt bow to any pressure.
"Years ago, Congress had committed mistake by joining hands with BSP [Bahujan Samaj Party] in Uttar Pradesh. It [Congress] hasnt been able to recover from that failure. We are committing the same mistake in Maharashtra, Nirupam said in a tweet.
11:07 Does not have Sharad Pawar's support: Praful Patel
NCP leader Praful Patel on Saturday said that newly sworn-in Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar going with BJP is not NCP's decision as party supremo Sharad Pawar does not extend any support to it. "This is not NCP's decision and does not have Sharad Pawar saheb's support," said Praful Patel.
10:59 Sanjay Raut ruined Shiv Sena: BJP Maha chief
BJP Maharashtra unit chief Chandrakant Patil on Saturday said that his party was compelled to form the government in the state since its ally Shiv Sena betrayed the mandate.
"On October 24 results came, voters voted for BJP-Sena alliance. 144 was the majority mark, the alliance got 161 MLAs. Shiv Sena raised the issue of chief minister's post for 2.5 years and denied to support BJP. Shiv Sena betrayed the mandate and didn't even talk with us. Since the first press conference they had started talking about alternatives," Patil told reporters.
"There was pressure from the people that BJP should form the government since the mandate was in our favour. Shiv Sena is ready to leave Hindutva. They are also ready to leave the issue of giving Bharat Ratna to Savarkar. Then why we remain silent? That is why Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister. We will give a stable government," he said.
Patil also attacked Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and said that he ruined his party."Sanjay Raut should now at least keep silent. He has ruined Shiv Sena. He should not talk about betrayals. Shiv Sena was continuously attacking BJP and engaging in discussions with Cong-NCP that is why we were compelled to form the government," he said. -- ANI
10:55 Gehlot questions morality of revoking President's rule in Maha
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday questioned the morality of revoking the President's rule and swearing-in of the chief minister and deputy chief minister in Maharashtra.
Gehlot said both the chief minister and deputy chief minister were "guilt conscious" and raised doubt whether they would be able to deliver good governance.
Referring to the political development in Maharashtra, Gehlot asked what morality was there in the sudden revocation of President's rule and such swearing-in.
"Which direction are they taking democracy to?" Gehlot asked on Twitter, adding that people would teach a lesson to the BJP on an appropriate time. Gehlot said he was doubtful whether Devendra Fadnavis would be successful as a chief minister and deliver good governance, adding that the people of Maharashtra would suffer. -- PTI
10:42 Sharad Pawar-Uddhav presser at 12:30 pm
It's called closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The Congress party has called for an urgent meeting at the their office in Mumbai. Senior party leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and KC Venugopal to be present.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi got it right when he tweeted this morning expressing surprise at the political developments in Maharashtra and said the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena negotiations took too long as the window was grabbed by "fast movers".
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray to address the media at 12.30 pm today.
10:35 Shiv Sena MLAs frustrated with Raut: BJP MLA
Girish Mahajan, BJP: We will prove our majority with support of over 170 MLAs. Ajit Pawar has given a letter to Governor about support of his MLAs and as he is legislative party leader of NCP, which means all NCP MLAs have supported us.
On Sanjay Raut, Mahajan said: "Verbal diarrhoea will be the right phrase to use for him. Even many Shiv Sena MLAs are frustrated with him and they may also think of going with us."
10:32 Gadkari congratulates Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar
Union minister Nitin Gadkari congratulated Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar for taking oath as the chief minister and the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra respectively on Saturday. In a tweet, Gadkari said under the leadership of Fadnavis and Pawar, the "chariot of Maharashtra's development" will move ahead rapidly. PTI
10:17 Sharad Pawar gave OK to Ajit Pawar: Report
NCP chief Sharad Pawar gave his consent to party leader Ajit Pawar and was part of the discussion leading to the formation of a BJP-led government in Maharashtra, sources told ANI.
"Ajit Pawar is the leader of Parliamentary board of NCP and no decision of NCP is taken without Sharad Pawar's assent," sources added.
NCP joining hands with BJP to form a government came as a big jolt to the efforts by Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena to cobble an alliance to bereft BJP of power corridors.
The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.
10:13 The gazette notification that revoked President's Rule in Maharashtra
President's Rule was on Saturday revoked in Maharashtra following the formation of a new government in the state.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 356 of the Constitution I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India hereby revoke the proclamation issued by me under the said article on the 12th day of November, 2019, in relation to the state of Maharashtra with effect from the 23rd day of November, 2019," President Ram Nath Kovind said in a gazette notification.
In an overnight development, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis earlier this morning took oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister for the second consecutive term while Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
Image: The gazette notification. Please click on the + to enlarge the image.
10:02 Raut: At 9 pm Ajit Pawar disappeared from meeting
First reactions from Sanjay Raut, who if reports are correct, was as shoo-in for the CM's post.
The Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP says, "Uddhav Thackerayji and Sharad Pawarji are in touch and will meet also today, they might also address the media together. But fact is that Ajit Pawar and the MLAs supporting him have insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Maharashtra.
"Kal 9 baje tak yeh mahashaye (Ajit Pawar) hamare saath baithe the, achanak se gayab ho gaye baad mein. Vo nazro se nazre mila kar nahi bol rahe the, jo vyakti paap karne jata hai uski nazar jaise jhukti hai, waise jhuki nazro se baat kar rahe the. Till 9 pm yesterday, this gentleman (Ajit Pawar) was sitting with us through our meetings and then suddenly he disappeared. He would not meet our eyes when we spoke. The man who will commit a sin, his gaze is always lowered. That's how he spoke."
09:54 First reactions from Fadnavis: People did not want khichdi govt
Devendra Fadnavis after taking oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister for the second consecutive term said that the state needed a stable government and not a 'Khichdi' government.
"People had given us a clear mandate, but Shiv Sena tried to ally with other parties after results, as a result President's rule was imposed. Maharashtra needed a stable govt not a 'khichdi' government," Fadnavis told ANI.
09:47 Formed govt to resolve farmers' issues: Ajit Pawar
NCP's Ajit Pawar who took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Saturday said that the NCP chose to go with the BJP for government formation in the state so that the problems faced by the farmers are resolved at the earliest.
"After results, no government was formed. There are many problems including that of farmers and if a government is formed then these issues would be resolved at the earliest. That's why we have decided to form the government and taken this decision," Pawar told ANI after taking oath.
In what can be termed as a surprising development, BJP's Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister for the second consecutive term while NCP's Ajit Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.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 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 state Governor Bhagat Singh 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. -- ANI
09:44 NCP doesn't endorse Ajit's decision: Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar tweets: "Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his."
09:41 New Maha govt will be committed to state's development & welfare: Amit Shah
BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday expressed confidence that the new Maharashtra government under Devendra Fadnavis, who took oath as chief minister in the early morning on Saturday, will scale new heights of development. Shah tweeted his congratulation to Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who was sworn in as the deputy chief minister, after the oath-taking ceremony.
"Hearty congratulations to Shri @Dev_Fadnavis ji on taking oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shri @AjitPawarSpeaks as Deputy Chief Minister of the state. "I am confident that this government will be continuously committed to the development and welfare of Maharashtra and will set new standards of progress in the state," Shah tweeted. BJP working president J P Nadda also congratulated Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.
"I Congratulate @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am sure that under the guidance of Hon PM @narendramodi Ji, BJP-NCP Gov will take Maharashtra to newer heights."
This also means that the Bullet Train project, which experts say is a gargantuan mistake, will happen. It could have been stalled or stopped even had the Cong-NCP-Sena come to power.
09:25 Maha governor revoked central rule at 5.47 am
The Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party government took charge in Maharashtra on Saturday after President's rule, imposed in the state a fortnight ago, was revoked at 5.47 am.
According to a home ministry notification, President Ram Nath Kovind issued the proclamation for revocation of central rule this morning.
The gazette notification to this effect was issued by Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla at 5.47 am.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis and Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar took oath as the chief minister and deputy chief minister of Maharashtra after President's rule was revoked.
08:55 Pawarji tussi great ho: Cong's Abhishek Singhvi
Congress's first reaction on a twist in Maharashtra politics.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi tweets, "Surreal wht I read abt #Maharashtra. Thought it was fake news. Candidly &personally speaking, our tripartite negotiations shd not have gone on for more than 3 days...took too long. Window given was grabbed by fast movers. #pawarji tussi grt ho! Amazing if true, still not sure."
08:34 PM Modi congratulates Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy Ajit Pawar.
"Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra," Modi tweeted.
08:27 Fadnavis back as Maha CM, Ajit Pawar is deputy
In what can be termed as a surprising development, Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday took oath as Maharashtra chief minister for the second consecutive term while Nationalist Congress Party's Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister of the state.
The move came at a time when deliberations between the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.
Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the alliance government.
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 and equal sharing of Cabinet berths.
The 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 state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
00:49 Cong wants a grand temple in Ayodhya: Pilot
The Congress wants a "grand temple" to be built in Ayodhya, Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said on Friday, days after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the construction of the shrine in the Hindu holy town.
He also said the court's decision was acceptable to all and people should now stop doing politics on the issue.
In its verdict announced on November 9, the Supreme Court backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot be allotted for building a mosque in the town.
"Everyone has welcomed the decision and the Congress party wants a grand temple be built there (Ayodhya)," Pilot told reporters in Dausa district.
"We have to happily respect and maintain that decision. Now we have to stop doing politics on this issue; the world is moving forward," he said.
People who had been doing politics over the case for the past 30 years understand now that no one will benefit politically by raising the issue again and again, he added, without naming anyone.
Speaking about the Congress' performance in the recent civic body polls in Rajasthan and assembly elections in some states, Pilot said there is a change in the country's atmosphere.
"(Congress') performance in the recent civic body elections reflects that the organisation and workers have worked hard and people have liked the government's work. State assembly results in Haryana and the alliance government taking shape in Maharashtra reflect that the atmosphere in the country is changing," he said. -- PTI