Maharashtra: SC to give order today
New Delhi/Mumbai, Nov. 25 (PTI): The Supreme Court will give its order on government formation in Maharashtra on Tuesday, the apex court announced as the political whirlpool in the state spun faster with the BJP and the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress throwing in competing claims and ugly scenes inside and outside Parliament.
The shaky government in Maharashtra, led by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP who were sworn in early on Saturday, got a breather with the Supreme Court on Monday saying it was reserving its decision for a day.
The Centre told the apex court the BJP had the support of all 54 NCP MLAs to form a government in Maharashtra and asked for two to three days to reply to the plea against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision on Saturday.
The BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs in the 288-member state assembly followed by the Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44). The Sena broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister’s post.
Appearing for the Shiv Sena in the apex court, senior advocate Kapil Sibal countered the BJP by saying the combine has affidavits from 154 Maharashtra MLAs and the BJP should be asked to prove its majority within 24 hours if it has the numbers.
The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP has filed a plea against the governor’s move to revoke President’s rule in the early hours of Saturday and making BJP leader Fadnavis chief minister for a second time and NCP supremo Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar his deputy.
The Centre told a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna that the governor had in absolute discretion invited the largest party to form government on November 23.
As the hearing began on Monday morning, Mehta submitted letters of the governor and Fadnavis as asked by the bench on Sunday
The apex court said it is not considering the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’ combine’s plea that they be invited to form government in Maharashtra.
The storm raged outside the apex court too.
Both houses of Parliament were repeatedly disrupted on the issue with the Congress alleging that women parliamentarians were manhandled by marshals in the Lok Sabha when they were protesting in the Well of the House on the matter.
Related news on page 8