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Maharashtra crisis: A case of horse trading, entire stable going other way

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By PTI Updated: Nov 25, 2019 9:49 pm
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Shiv Sena MLAs aboard a bus to be shifted from the Lalit Hotel to Lemon Tree Premier Hotel amid high political drama in Maharashtra and fear of ‘poaching’ of MLAs, in Mumbai on Monday. (PTI)

New Delhi, Nov. 25 (PTI/IANS): The high-voltage hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday over the government formation crisis in Maharashtra witnessed a sharp exchange of words between the two sides on the issue of horse trading.

“This is not a case of horse trading, but a case of one entire stable going the other way,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta remarked during the arguments on the numbers game in the state’s Assembly.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal took note of the jibe and retorted: “The stable is still there, only the jockey (Ajit Pawar) has run away.”

Mehta then took another dig that there was an agreement to file one petition by the combine but too many counsel — Sibal, A M Singhvi and others — were appearing in the case.

“The three parties can’t even agree to field a common counsel,” he said on a lighter note before a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has moved the top court challenging Devendra Fadnavis being sworn in as the state’s Chief Minister.

While Mehta was representing the Secretary to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Maharashtra Government, Sibal was appearing for the Shiv Sena.

 

Anxious NCP still hopes to win back Ajit Pawar

Unwilling to let go, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday continued to woo back rebel leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in here on Saturday.

In the fourth such series of meetings, the NCP deployed former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal who visited Pawar’’s home and tried to convince him to return to the NCP fold.

He was joined by at least two other senior leaders and former Ministers — Dilip Walse-Patil and Sunil Tatkare — who were closeted with Pawar for around three hours in his Mantralaya office to discuss and sort out issues.

“We had a long meeting with him and are trying to convince him to come back. There’’s no definite commitment from his side, but we are hopeful of a positive response,” Bhujbal told mediapersons.

NCP sources said it was the “final effort” by the party and thereafter it will be left to the sulking Pawar’’s conscience and decision.

On Sunday, some top leaders, including NCP state chief Jayant Patil, had called on Pawar twice at his home to win him over, ahead of the crucial vote of confidence in the Assembly.

Simultaneously, members of the Pawar clan — including Rohit R. Pawar, the newly elected legislator and grand-nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and MP Supriya Sule-Pawar, have also issued appeals on social media, extending an olive branch to Ajit Pawar.

Rohit Pawar even went to the extent of pleading that in this critical time, “the family and party must remain united” and stand solidly between senior Pawar to weather the political crises.

It maybe recalled that a social media war erupted after Ajit Pawar claimed he was still with the NCP, he had the support of the 54 MLAs, and Sharad Pawar remained his leader.

However, Sharad Pawar had hit back denying his nephew’’s claims and asserted that the NCP was now allied with the Shiv Sena and the Congress of the proposed Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Make way for us, Uddhav Thackeray to BJP at parade of MLAs

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday asked the BJP to “make way” for the Sena-NCP- Congress alliance to rule Maharashtra. He was speaking at a joint parade of MLAs of the three parties, held at a luxury hotel in suburban Mumbai.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was also present, said BJP misused power to grab power even in states where voters hadn’t given their mandate to it.

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.

The move was announced hours after the leaders of the three parties submitted a letter to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari claiming that they have the requisite numbers to form government.

Those present were at the parade were Congress leader Ashok Chavan, who said, “We are more than 162, not just 162.

6092
By PTI Updated: Nov 25, 2019 9:49:34 pm