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  • State Vidhan Bhawan's in-charge secretary Rajendra Bhagawat told that during the last couple of decades, the chief minister was sworn in first followed by other members. A special session of the state Assembly began here on Wednesday morning to administer oath to members in the 288- member House.

    The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance on Tuesday evening announced Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as their nominee for the Maharashtra chief minister's post.

    Locked in a protracted power tussle with the BJP in Maharashtra, the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress has decided to "parade" 162 MLAs in the Mumbai five- star hotel on Monday evening in a show of united strength.

    According to sources, the NCP MLAs, who were staying at Hotel Renaissance in Powai area, have been moved to Hotel Grand Hyatt in Santacruz and Sofitel in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). Incidentally, BJP leader Ravindra Chavan was on Sunday seen entering Hotel Renaissance.

    Patel also dismissed allegations that the Congress delayed formation of a prospective alliance government by withholding its consent for such arrangement. He said people of the country and Maharashtra have faith in the principles of democracy. "But that faith was insulted", Patel said without naming the BJP.

    Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said newly-elected MLAs of the party will seek advice from the party high-command over its future political stand in the state. "We are in Jaipur. We will discuss the issue here and will seek advice for the future political stand. The party doesn't want president's rule in the state," he told reporters.

    Hours after NCP chief Sharad Pawar said NCP-Congress should sit in the Opposition, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan gave a different take. He said unless the Congress and the NCP jointly agree on supporting a Sena-led govt , there will be no forward movement on the issue. No party has got a majority in the October 21 assembly polls and that is why the Congress feels the BJP shouldn't be in power, Chavan said.

    Some senior Sena leaders are likely to reach Delhi to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to press for the request. While Pawar made the request to the Ahmed Patel-led AICC delegation on Tuesday, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut too made his party’s request when PCC chief Balasaheb Thorat and ex-CM Ashok Chavan met him on Wednesday.

    After a meeting with senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat and Manikrao Thakare at a suburban hotel, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said that the talks were fruitful and the discussion over government formation in Maharashtra was progressing in the "right direction". The meeting lasted for about an hour.

    Seeking a possible alliance to form the government in Maharashtra, Congress leaders met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to discuss modalities of a 'common minimum programme'. President's rule is now imposed in the state following a report sent to the Centre by the governor stating that formation of a stable government was impossible.

    Senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakare said that Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the All India Congress Committee's (AICC) generally secretary, met the legislators informally to ascertain their views on what stand the party should take about government formation in Maharashtra.

    As the Shiv Sena continued to demand that the CM's post be equally divided between the two parties, and BJP remained opposed to the idea.

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