New Delhi: After days of twists and turns in Maharashtra, action has been shifted to the Supreme Court as it is expected to examine the letters of support used by Fadnavis in staking claim to form the government, at 10.30 AM today. In an unprecedented hearing yesterday a three-judge bench also issued notice to CM Fadnavis, his deputy Ajit Pawar, the state and the Central government.
While hearing the joint petition of Sena-NCP-Congress, the top court had directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to produce relevant documents including the letter submitted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to Maharashtra Governor and that of BS Koshayari inviting BJP to form a government.
Notably, the trio (Sena-NCP-Congress) had filed a petition in the apex court on Saturday evening seeking an immediate floor test to ‘avoid horse-trading and illegal manoeuvres’ in Maharashtra. The Sena-NCP and Congress approached the SC on Saturday, hours after Devendra Fadnavis returned as Maharashtra’s chief minister propped up by Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy.
“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”, NCP leader Nawab Malik had stated yesterday.
On the other hand, BJP has also expressed confidence that Fadnavis will prove his government’s majority in the state assembly, claiming that he has the support of more than 170 MLAs.
Resort politics begin
In order to guard vulnerable ones against being poached by the BJP and the NCP splinter group, the trio of Congress, NCP and the Shiv Sena have put up their MLAs in hotels. The Shiv Sena has lodged their MLAS in Hotel Lalit, the Congress in JW Marriott, while the NCP ones are staying in Renaissance.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai is on his toes with the Shiv Sainik MLAs. The hotel has been cordoned off and none of them are allowed to leave, while directions on security are being given by Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackrey’s top aide Milind Narvekar.
The heir apparent Aditya Thackrey is also meeting the MLAs to keep their morale high.
Month-long political crisis in Maharashtra
The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month’s Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively failed to form the government as they broke their three-decade-long ties over the rotational Chief minister’s Post. While Sena remained adamant on the implementation of 50:50 formula, the BJP stated that no such pact was signed with the Sena before the commencement of Vidhan Sabha chunav. The Congress and the NCP, both pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.