In a surprise move, Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar took oath as chief minister and deputy chief minister on Saturday early morning at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. Minutes after the oath-taking ceremony, BJP leader Girish Mahajan claimed that the party has the support of over 170 MLAs. He further stated that Ajit Pawar has given a letter of support for his MLAs.
Talking to the media, BJP leader Girish Mahajan said, “We will prove our majority with the support of over 170 MLAs. Ajit Pawar has given a letter to Governor about the support of his MLAs and as he is legislative party leader of NCP, which means all NCP MLAs have supported us.”
In the meantime, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut should "now at least keep silent". "He has ruined the Shiv Sena," Patil said. Sanjay Raut, a key Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP, had been very vocal criticising the BJP in the past two weeks and took personal digs at Devendra Fadnavis, saying he is hungry for power.
Whereas, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar said, "Ajit Pawar's decision to support the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government is his personal decision and not that of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). We place on record that we do not support or endorse this decision of his."
The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the state elections last month, could not earlier stake claim to form a government after it could not reach an agreement with its former ally Shiv Sena on its "50:50" demand. The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by the Shiv Sena (56). The NCP won 54 seats and the Congress had won 44 seats.