Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has convened a special Assembly session on Wednesday at 8 AM even as the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine is set to stake claim to form the government with Uddhav Thackeray as its leader.
"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," an official said.
The oath will be administered by newly-appointed pro-tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar, who was appointed by Governor Koshyari on Tuesday evening on directions of the Supreme Court which ordered a floor test on Wednesday.
After the fall of the three-day-old Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, leaders of the Sena-NCP-Cong combine met at a suburban hotel in Mumbai to thrash out their moves ahead of the governor inviting them to form the next government.
The three parties finalised their Common Minimum Programme after the joint meeting, sources said.
"Today evening there will be a joint press conference of the three (Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP) parties and a meeting. In the meeting leader of joint legislative party will be elected, I think Uddhav ji will be elected", Congress leader KC Venugopal told ANI.
Meanwhile, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that party supremo Uddhav Thackeray will be the Chief Minister for the next five years. There were reports that Uddhav will induct two deputies - Balasaheb Thorat of Congress and Jayant Patil of NCP.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was resigning as the chief minister after Ajit Pawar, who had offered him support, decided to leave the alliance, a day before the floor test ordered by the Supreme Court.
At a press meet, Fadnavis said he had formed the government because the people's mandate was in favour of the BJP alliance. He avoided staking a claim initially because the Shiv Sena, his ally, had refused to support him. But when Ajit Pawar offered support, he decided to form the government and fulfil the mandate that had been given to his party.
Fadnavis blamed the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance of being opportunistic and said their Common Maximum Programme was to keep the BJP out of power.