04:21 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Supporters of India's main opposition Congress party shout slogans as they are stopped by police during a protest against the formation of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition government in Maharashtra, in New Delhi, India November 25, 2019

    After Much Drama, Newly-Elected Lawmakers Take Oath in India's Maharashtra State

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): A day after the Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra governor to appoint a pro tem speaker for the State Assembly, a special session was called. He was also directed to ensure that all elected members were sworn-in to participate in a floor test for state minister Devendra Fadnavis the same day.

    A special session of the Maharashtra Assembly commenced on Wednesday, where the 288 newly-elected legislators took an oath of office and secrecy. The political impasse over coalition-building following last month's state election had delayed the procedure of convening the assembly. 

    Pro tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar swore in the state legislators.

    Amid the tug-of-war between the political parties for power, Maharashtra briefly came under direct presidential rule, starting 12 November; during the early hours of 23 November, however, control was returned to BJP leader Fadnavis, who took the oath of office and briefly returned to the post of State Minister. The NCP’s Ajit Pawar was also sworn in, as deputy state chief. However their tenure lasted a mere three days before they resigned.

    By Tuesday afternoon, the BJP-led government under the leadership of Fadnavis had collapsed after Pawar resigned as deputy state chief. Fadnavis followed suit shortly there after, paving the way for Maha Vikas Aghadi, a coalition between the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP parties, to stake their claim and form the government under the leadership of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

    Thackeray will be sworn in as State Minister on Thursday.

    The saffron party, BJP had secured 105 seats in Maharashtra's elections out of 288 Assembly constituencies, but its alliance with one regional party, Shiv Sena, fell flat, as the latter sought a power-sharing formula, which was unacceptable to BJP. Finally BJP’s 15-year alliance with the like-minded Shiv Sena ended with the latter party joining the opposite camp, bargaining in the process to head the government.

    Maharashtra, located in west-central India, is home to its financial capital Mumbai and over 110 million people, making it India's second most populous state.


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