The Maharashtra political drama, that begun in the Supreme Court and then shifted to the Parliament on Monday, ended with a grand show of strength at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, with the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress combine parading 162 MLAs, signalling to that the three parties hold the real mandate to govern the state.
The spectacular show of strength ended with all the 162 MLAs taking a pledge to not indulge in anti-party activities and remaining honest to their party. Follow LIVE Updates here
After the 162 MLAs gathered at the plush Mumbai hotel, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Babasaheb Thorat said the newly-formed government under Devendra Fadnavis should resign as they do not have the majority.
In a motivating speech to the MLAs, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, present along with son Aaditya, said the alliance wanted to show its strength not only to Maharashtra but to the country. “Our fight is not just for power, our fight is for ‘Satyamev Jayate.’ The more you try to break us, the more we will unite,” he said.
“Despite seeing this picture, if it does not light the minds of people, then we have the strength to show that light. We are not saying I will come back but I’m saying we are back,” Thackeray added.
Moments after the 162 MLAs took an oath to commit to the three-party alliance, Aaditya Thackeray took to Twitter and wrote: “The Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena today presented its 162 MLAs to the media. A truthful majority has to the mandate of the constitution and the people. We together are #MahaStrength.”
In a stinging attack on the BJP, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the saffron party had tried unconstitutional ways
to gain power in Goa and some other states. “Those in power today have formed the government in some states despite not having the majority. We have 162 MLAs today,” Pawar said.
Asking the MLA not to fear disqualification from the state Assembly, Sharad Pawar said his nephew Ajit Pawar neither had the power to issue party whip nor does he have the power to suspend any of the NCP members.
“If he does that, I will take personal responsibility to ensure no MLA loses Assembly membership for voting against BJP,” Pawar said.
“Confusion is being created in the minds of the new MLAs that Ajit Pawar, who was elected as legislative party leader, has the powers to issue whip. And if the whip is not followed, then the MLAs may be disqualified. I want to clearly state that once that party leader is removed, he doesn’t have the powers to do so,” the NCP supremo said.
Supreme Court reserves floor test order for tomorrow
The Supreme Court, earlier today, reserved its order for Tuesday on the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine’s plea against the Maharashtra Governor’s decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy Saturday morning.
In a hearing that lasted for around 80 minutes, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna took note of the key letters of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari inviting Devendra Fadnavis to form the government, and of the BJP leader claiming the support of the required number of MLAs to stake claim submitted by the Centre.
Appearing on behalf of Congress and NCP Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi called BJP forming a government in Maharashtra as a “fraud committed on democracy”.
Voicing similar concerns, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing Sena, said, “It’s the fraud of the worst kind. Did a single NCP MLA tell Ajit Pawar that he supported him to go with BJP?”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines