Protem Speaker administers oath to Maharashtra MLAs

Maharashtra: Oath taking, floor test to be held at special assembly session tomorrow
BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar signs the document in front of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after being sworn-in as pro-tem speaker at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Mumbai: Newly-appointed pro-tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar administered the oath to Maharashtra MLAs on Wednesday morning.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had called a special session of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday where floor test will be conducted after pro-tem speaker administers oath to the 288 newly-elected members.

Kolambkar was appointed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday.

It 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 newly-elected members couldn't take oath even one month after the results of the assembly polls were announced, due to political up 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 in the day, 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 5:00pm.

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.

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.

Earlier in the day, Fadnavis announced that he was stepping down as the BJP lost majority in view of Ajit Pawar resigning from his post.

The NCP has announced that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be the next chief minister of Maharashtra. Uddhav will be sworn-in as CM  on November 28 evening (Thursday) at Shivaji Park.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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