Chavan stakes claim, swearing in Thursday (Lead)

November 11th, 2010 - 1:31 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 10 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister-designate Prithviraj Chavan, along with Deputy Chief Minister-designate Ajit Pawar met Governor K. Sankaranarayanan in Raj Bhavan late Wednesday and staked claim to form the new government. Chavan will be sworn-in Thursday.

Chavan reached Raj Bhavan at around 10 p.m. and waited for Pawar, who showed up only 40 minutes later.

The two leaders handed over letters of support of their respective legislators and sought permission to form the next Democratic Front government in the state.

“We have submitted letter of support from 170 MLAs to the governor. He has named me as the new Maharashtra chief minister and Ajit Pawar as the new deputy chief minister. We will take the oath tomorrow (Thursday),” said Chavan after meeting with the governor.

Chavan and Pawar were accompanied by senior leaders from both the alliance partners - the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

The swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held here Thursday at 4.30 p.m.

Chavan, 64, was named leader of the Congress legislature party, paving the way for him to become the next chief minister of the state.

Chavan replaces Ashok Chavan, whose resignation as the state chief minister was accepted by the governor. This was after Congress leadership said he should quit following allegations of his association with Mumbai’s Adarsh housing society scam.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar, nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar and a state minister, was chosen the next deputy chief minister of Maharashtra after Chhagan Bhujbal, hours after the announcement of Chavan being chosen as the chief minister of the state.

Pawar was elected as deputy chief minister by NCP legislators.

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