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Congress & Sena to Bundle MLAs to Jaipur Amid Fears of Poaching; NCP Shifts Lawmakers to Mumbai Hotel

The move came on a day when the parties were caught off-guard by NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s surprise move to join hands with the BJP.


Updated:November 24, 2019, 8:55 AM IST
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Congress & Sena to Bundle MLAs to Jaipur Amid Fears of Poaching; NCP Shifts Lawmakers to Mumbai Hotel
NCP MLAs leave in a bus after a meeting with party MLA's in Mumbai, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. At least nine NCP MLAs who attended swearing-in of Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra returned to the party fold and expressed solidarity with party chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: In what can be termed as the beginning of resort politics in Maharashtra, the Congress and the Shiv Sena are moving their respective MLAs to Jaipur after the two parties were caught off-guard by NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s surprise move to join the BJP. He took oath as the deputy chief minister on Saturday morning.

"We may go to Jaipur tomorrow. We will be there until the special session of the state Legislative Assembly is convened for newly-elected MLAs to take oath, election of Speaker and trust vote," Congress MLA Nana Patole told PTI on Saturday night.

The NCP has decided to shift its MLAs to a hotel in Mumbai.

It was earlier reported that Congress MLAs would be flown to Bhopal where party veteran Digvijaya Singh was tasked to keep the legislators together.

The Congress MLAs had earlier been taken to Jaipur soon after the results were announced for the 288-member Assembly on October 24. Rajasthan is ruled by the Congress with Gandhi family loyalist Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister.

The political drama in the western state started after the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats, rejected the request of its pre-poll alliance partner Shiv Sena for a rotational chief minister.

The Shiv Sena won 56 seats in the October 21 elections. Earlier, Shiv Sena had also bundled its MLAs in a Mumbai hotel.

Maharashtra Governor Baharat Singh Koshyari had first invited the BJP to form the government. After the BJP refused to form the government, the Governor invited Shiv Sena followed by the NCP with 54 seats the next day. Koshyari then submitted his report to the government calling for the President's rule in the state on November 12.

However, in an overnight coup, the BJP turned its tables on rivals with a faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) breaking away under Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar and forming government under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning. A day earlier it was senior Pawar who announced that the new Maharashtra government would be led by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

On Friday, the new trio of Sena-NCP-Congress had finally come to a consensus to reserve the top post for senior Thackeray as the Nationalist Congress Party seemed hesitant to back any other candidate for the key post.

(With inputs from agencies)

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