A special session of the Maharashtra Assembly began at 8:00 am on Wednesday, where 288 newly-elected MLAs took oath. NCP MP Supriya Sule greeted party MLAs Ajit Pawar and Rohit Pawar at Vidhan Bhawan entrance before the commencement of the session. "This day comes with a big responsibility," she told reporters. In the House, pro tem Speaker Kalidas Kolambar announced Babanrao Pachpute, Vijaykumar Gavit and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil as the presiding officers for administering oath of the members.
NCP leaders Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, Congress leaders and former chief ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj and former speakers Dilip Walse Patil (NCP) and Haribhau Bagade (BJP) were among the members to take oath early.
Presiding officers Pachpute and Gavit were the first to take oath followed by caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Ajit Pawar was greeted with thumping of desks from NCP members when he went to the podium to take oath.
Newly-elected Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray was congratulated by members cutting across party lines. The 29-year-old son of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray went up to all senior members to greet them. Kolambkar was appointed as the pro-tem speaker by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening.
The Maharashtra Special Assembly Session was convened by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday, where floor test will be conducted after pro-tem speaker administers the oath to the 288 newly-elected members. The oath was administered by newly-appointed pro-tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar at the session.
Kolambkar was appointed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday.
"Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has called a special session of the legislative assembly on Wednesday. The session would begin at 8 am for the oath-taking ceremony of the 288 members. Following the oath, the pro-tem speaker will call for a floor test," the official said.
The newly-elected members couldn't take an 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 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 5:00 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.
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 the 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.