New Delhi: President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Ashok Chavan on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to gain more time from the apex court to poach MLAs from other parties. As per the precedence, only the senior-most member of the assembly should be made the pro-tem speaker, noted Chavan.

Ashok Chavan was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “Senior-most member of the assembly should be made the Pro-tem Speaker as per the precedence. BJP is trying to gain more time from the Supreme Court, you can understand the motive behind this, they are trying to poach MLAs from other parties.”

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Earlier in the day, the Congress leader also accused NCP leader Ajit Pawar of misusing the letter of MLAs during the formation of new government in Maharashtra by the BJP. “The MLAs of Pawar (Sharad Pawar) have denied giving any kind of support through that letter, they say their letter was misused. Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress has the number,” Ashok Chavan was quoted by news agency PTI as saying. Chavan then expressed confidence that the rest of the MLAs involved in the alleged horse-trading would return to their party. “Our all 44 MLAs are safe at the right place. We need not worry about anything,” added the Congress leader, as per news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “50 MLAs are with us but not everyone is at the hotel, 4 MLAs who are kept somewhere by BJP people, are in constant touch with us and will definitely come back.”

On Saturday night, hours after senior leader Ajit Pawar joined hands with the BJP and took oath as deputy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the NCP stated that Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine will defeat the new BJP-led government in Maharashtra during the Assembly Speaker’s election, indicating that most of its MLAs were intact.