'BJP formed govt in Maha with support of 170 MLAs'

Sudhir Mungantiwar

The BJP in Maharashtra has the support of 170 MLAs in the 288-member House, senior party leader Sudhir Mungantiwar claimed here on Saturday, which was marked by NCP leader Ajit Pawar's coup that saw Devendra Fadnavis taking oath as chief minister for a second term.

Ajit, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, took oath as deputy chief minister.

Not many had an inkling of the early morning swearing-in ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan, which some called a "clandestine" affair.

Against the backdrop of this development, Mungantiwar said the BJP would provide a stable and performing government.

"Ajit Pawar is the NCP legislature party leader and it means everyone has given support to the BJP", Mungantiwar said amidst confusion over the exact number of MLAs of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supporting the fledgeling government.

The NCP has 54 seats in the Assembly, though it is not clear how many of them have broken away from the parent part to chart a new course with Ajit, the MLA of Baramati.

"The BJP and its ally were given a clear mandate but the ally disrespected it. In order to respect the mandate given to us, we formed a government today with the support of 170 MLAs," Mungantiwar, who represents Ballarshah seat, told reporters at his office.

The halfway mark is 145.

"The government will serve the general public for the upliftment of farmers, underprivileged people, unemployed youths and women in the state in the next five years with full enthusiastically," he said.

Mungantiwar added that the BJP government under the leadership of Fadnavis and Ajit as deputy CM will try to bring all-round development of the state.

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