BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar on Monday took oath as the Protem Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai. Kolambkar's oath was administered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. After wearing-in as protem Speaker, Kolambkar said that oath of newly elected MLAs will be administered on Wednesday when the session begins.
"Tomorrow the first session of new assembly begins. From 8.00 am onwards oath will be administered to the MLAs," he said after taking oath.
Kolambkar, who was the Congress MLA from Wadala in Mumbai, had joined the BJP in July this year. Kolambkar, an eight-term lawmaker, was originally with the Shiv Sena before joining the Congress. Kolambkar is considered a close aide of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane.
In March, he had said that he would support those who work. Kolambkar had removed the party signboard outside his residence and put Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis's portrait instead. In April, he attended an NDA election rally and openly declared his plan to desert the grand old party.
Earlier in the day, the political slugfest in Maharashtra reached its climax when Supreme Court ordered Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar-led BJP government to face the floor test on Wednesday. With most of the NCP leaders pledging their loyality to Sharad Pawar instead of his nephew Ajit Pawar, Fadnavis chose to quit rather than facing embarassment on the floor of the Assembly.
"We don't have majority after Ajit Pawar's resignation as Dy CM," Fadnavis said. "I will be submitting my resignation to the governor after this media briefing," he said. Ajit Pawar had gone against his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in supporting the BJP but most of his party MLAs opposed his unilateral decision and supported the Shiv Sena-led alliance.
Announcing his resignation, Fadnavis said the BJP will not indulge in horse-trading and become the voice of the people as a responsible opposition. "We had decided that we will never indulge in horse trading, that we will never try to break away any MLA. Those who said that we indulge in horse trading bought the entire horse stable," he said.