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November 25, 2019 / 07:34 AM IST

Maharashtra government formation highlights: Ajit's statement misleading, no question of allying with BJP, says Sharad Pawar

Updates of the political crisis in Maharashtra. Supreme Court has sought Governor's records and letters of support by tomorrow morning

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine on November 23 night filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the Maharashtra governor's decision to swear-in BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister and demanded an immediate floor test to avoid "further horse trading".

A bench of justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna will hear the plea on Sunday at 11.30 am.

The

three parties also sought a direction to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite them to form government under the leadership of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, saying they have the support of more than 144 MLAs.

The petitioners alleged that the governor has acted in a "partisan manner" and allowed himself to be a "pawn in the BJP's illegal usurpation of power".

The parties further prayed for an "immediate floor test within 24 hours so as to avoid further horse trading and illegal maneuvers to somehow cobble up a majority from the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi)".

"It is submitted that the governor has acted in a partisan manner and made a mockery of the high office of governor," the plea said.

Koshyari's actions on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, "culminating to swearing in on November 23 are textbook example of the governor acting at the behest of a political party in power at the Centre", it said.

The facts in the case demonstrate that the governor has "belittled the constitutional office and has allowed himself to be a pawn in the BJP's illegal usurpation of power", the plea stated.

The governor's action in installing a "minority BJP" government is ex-facie illegal and unconstitutional, the petition, filed through the three parties' advocate Sunil Fernandes, claimed, adding that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has a "clear majority" in the 288-member state assembly and the BJP "clearly falls short of the halfway mark of 144".

Seeking quashing of the governor's decision inviting Fadnavis to form government, the plea said it is "unconstitutional, arbitrary and illegal", and violates Article 14 of the Constitution.

It said after comprehensive talks, the three parties finalised a common minimum programme for a post-poll alliance called MVA, and on November 22, it was announced that Uddhav Thackeray would be the alliance's chief ministerial candidate.

"Facing the prospect of a non-BJP government staking claim to power, the BJP on the intervening night of November 22 and 23 resorted to political machinations in an attempt to install a completely unconstitutional BJP government in the state," the plea said.

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has also filed a separate application seeking direction for summoning of a special session of the assembly for swearing-in of MLAs and a floor test.

The parties should be permitted to prove its strength on the floor of the House by holding of a composite floor test, they demanded.

"In these circumstances the action of the governor in installing a minority government is ex-facie against the basic rule of law and the rule of parliamentary democracy that is rule by majority.

"More importantly the actions of the governor are entirely malafide and for extraneous considerations without even a prima facie satisfaction based on objective material that Fadnavis has majority support of the members of the house,” the application said.

It said any action of the governor in inviting a political party to form government has to be based on prima facie satisfaction and objective material which in the present case is completely conspicuous by its absence.

The application sought appropriate directions for “summoning a special session of the 14th Maharashtra legislative assembly with the only agenda of administering oath to the MLAs, immediately followed by the holding of a floor test on November 24".

"The gross malafide, arbitrariness and illegality is writ large on the face of the impugned actions of the governor as he has proceeded to swear-in a chief minister who is well short of the majority mark of 145 in the assembly by 40 MLAs," it said.

The governor on November 10 had turned down the invitation to form government for lack of numbers.

The application also sought direction for furnishing relevant records from the governor's office with regard to the invitation to Fadnavis to form government on Saturday, the satisfaction of the governor as to the support enjoyed by Fadnavis of a majority of MLAs in the assembly and his subsequent swearing in as the CM.

Video recording of the floor test and placing copies of the video before the court and appointing a pro-tem speaker to preside over the conduct of the floor test were also sought in the application.
  • November 24, 2019 / 08:25 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE: Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has reached NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence for a meeting, news agency ANI has reported. 

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  • November 24, 2019 / 08:24 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE | Yuva Swabhiman Party MLA, Ravi Rana who pledged support to BJP earlier, after meeting with Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar: I congratulated him, it took time but state now has good CM and Deputy CM. MLAs will be more than 175, it will increase even more due to what is happening in Shiv Sena.

  • November 24, 2019 / 08:20 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE | Sitaram Yechury, CPM tweetsAfter the brazen act of swearing in a BJP Chief Minister in Maharashtra, a delay in the floor-test would only compound the crime. This will only help the BJP, giving it more time to indulge in horse trading.

  • November 24, 2019 / 08:11 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE | NCP leader Dhananjay Munde: I am with party, I am with Pawar saheb. Please don’t spread rumours.

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  • November 24, 2019 / 07:45 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE: NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad has claimed that plaincloth policemen were spying inside Hotel Renaissance, where the party's legislators were being put up. They are now being shifted to a different hotel, according to reports. 

  • November 24, 2019 / 07:27 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE | Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray while addressing Sena workers earlier in the day: RSS is trying to contact us again, but it is too late now. We need not worry since (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar is standing firmly with us. All three of us are fighting this together. 

  • November 24, 2019 / 07:24 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE: Senior congress leader Ahmed Patel arrives at JW Marriott Hotel, where Congress MLAs are currently lodged. Other party leaders Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Mallikarjun Kharge are already present at the hotel. (ANI)

  • November 24, 2019 / 07:13 PM IST

    Congress turncoat, Narayan Rane tasked with getting MLAs into BJP fold: PTI 

    Speculation was rife that the task of getting MLAs into the BJP's fold has been entrusted to senior leader Radhkrishna Vikhe Patil, who had crossed over from the Congress to the BJP ahead of the October Assembly polls, Sainik-turned-Congressman-turned BJP Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane, NCP-turned-BJP MLA Ganesh Naik and Babanrao Pachpute.

    When asked about the speculation, Vikhe Patil gave a cryptic and open-to-interpretation reply, stating "I have good relations with all MLAs". (PTI)

  • November 24, 2019 / 06:54 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE: Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has also decided to move its MLAs out of Hotel Lalit to Hotel Lemon Tree, News18 has reported. 

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  • November 24, 2019 / 06:49 PM IST

    Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE: NCP has decided to shift its MLAs to Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, News18 has reported. They were being put up at Renaissance Hotel. They are being moved for security reasons, news agency ANI has reported. 

  • November 24, 2019 / 06:42 PM IST

    Vinay Kore, independent MLA, supporting BJP: We can see that two factions have been formed in NCP. We will get to know through floor test who has the bigger faction, how many people are with Ajit dada (Ajit Pawar), how many with Pawar saheb and are these two doing this together. (ANI)

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