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Published On: Sat, Nov 23rd, 2019

Sena, NCP, Congress Approach Top Court After BJP’s Maharashtra Coup

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assignment-name-in-brief_80670da6-02bc-11ea-bb04-d92b2c522640MUMBAI : The Supreme Court will on Sunday morning hear a petition filed by the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party against the centre’s move to end President’s Rule and the Governor’s move to invite Devendra Fadnavis to form government. The BJP on Saturday made a stunning comeback in Maharashtra, with some deft political maneuvering that saw Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar changing sides.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and Ajit Pawar’s uncle and Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar busy cobbling up an alliance, appeared shell-shocked as the country woke to the news that Devendra Fadnavis has taken oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister with Ajit Pawar – whom he repeatedly accused of corruption – as his deputy.

What followed were hectic meetings and claim from Sharad Pawar that his nephew acted on his own, misled the Governor and doesn’t have the numbers. A number of MLAs who attended the oath ceremony, turned up at the NCP office soon after, indicating that the party chief was right.
Here are the ten points on Shiv Sena’s move in Maharashtra:
The political twists of the day had started with President’s Rule in Maharashtra being called off at 5.47 am with a sign-off from President Ram Nath Kovind. It was followed by the oath ceremony at 7.50 am – attended by a handful of NCP members, some of whom later claimed that they were tricked into attending the ceremony.

While imposition and revocation of President’s Rule has to be cleared by the Union Cabinet, the BJP said it was bypassed through a particular rule in the Allocation of Business Rules 1961. Under it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, vested with special powers, had given the green signal.
At a press conference held in the morning, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray at his side, denied that he was aware of Ajit Pawar’s intended shift. He also paraded three MLAs before the media, who said they ended up at the Governor’s house by a ruse from Ajit Pawar. Some of the “rebel” MLAs were flown to Delhi by the BJP, a fraction of whom were said to return late in the evening.

The Sena has claimed that Ajit Pawar, who has several corruption cases against him, was armtwisted into supporting the BJP. “They misled the governor and took 10 MLAs with them. Five of those came back and Ajit Pawar will also come back,” said Sena leader Sanjay Raut. Am NCP meeting in the evening, was attended by 50 of the 54 MLAs.
The BJP claims it has the support of all 54 NCP MLAs.
“Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan (mishmash government),” Devendra Fadnavis said after the oath ceremony. Ajit Pawar said, “We decided to form a stable government” as no party has been able to form government and Maharashtra was facing many issues, including farmer issues.

Earlier this week, Sharad Pawar had met PM Modi, ostensibly over the farm crisis in Maharashtra, but the 45-minute meeting had caused a huge buzz. So had PM Modi’s unusual shout-out to the NCP for its conduct during a discussion in parliament on Monday.

The NCP and the ideologically disparate Sena and the Congress, had ironed out most of the niggles, including having Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister for five years. A decision on the Speaker was pending and there were plans to hold further talks today.

“A resolution was passed unanimously that party does not endorse Ajit Pawar’s decision and he has been removed as NCP legislative party leader,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters.

Amid the delay, BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav, a close aide of Amit Shah, was despatched to Mumbai. Away from the media spotlight, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar reached an agreement a little before midnight, after which the official machinery started moving, sources said.
The Shiv Sena has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s move to end President’s Rule and the Governor’s holding the oath ceremony soon after. “It is not understood as to what was the hurry,” the petition read.
It also pointed out that Governor was “duty bound” to study the claim of Devendra Fadnavis, especially when last night, the Sena, NCP and the Congress which have 154 MLAs together, said they would stake claim to form the Government. The court will hear the petition at 11:30 am on Sunday.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena, partners for over 30 years, fell out despite winning a majority together in the last month’s elections, with the Sena insistent on its “50:50” power-sharing demand, including rotational chief ministership. But with the BJP refusing to agree, the Sena gravitated towards the NCP and the Congress.


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