On a day the Supreme Court asked the BJP government in Maharashtra led by Devendra Fadnavis to prove its majority by 5 pm Wednesday, and Fadnavis resigned later in the day, the Congress asked Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to shed his “RSS-BJP cloak” and invite the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition to form the government, while the CPI(M) said Koshyari should resign now.
The Congress and the Left parties also said the turn of events in the state is a big blow to the BJP for its “manipulative politics” and “subversion of the Constitution”.
In Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said Fadnavis did the right thing by resigning as CM since the BJP did not have the numbers, but questioned Koshyari’s decision to accept the letter of support from NCP’s Ajit Pawar “without crosschecking it”.
“People have only one question. What was the need to do it (invite Fadnavis without his party’s majority)? We have heard about freedom at midnight but have never heard about government at midnight…. The Governor (Koshyari) should have crosschecked whether that letter (from Ajit Pawar) came from the mother party,” she said.
AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said, “After the Supreme Court verdict, it was clear that the cheap game of BJP would be over. It was only a matter of time when they (Fadnavis and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar) would resign. I would like to say clearly that it is not a failure of Devendra Fadnavis; it is a huge setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. They had shown deplorable political immorality to grab power at any cost.”
He accused the Prime Minister and BJP leaders of being directly involved in “murder of democracy”. Venugopal said, “It is shameful that the Prime Minister and BJP leaders used the office of the President and the Governor to carry out their cheap political tactics.”
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “We hope the Governor would draw the right lesson from this entire episode, shed his RSS-BJP cloak and appoint and invite ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ to form a government.” He said the manner in which the Constitution was “mutilated and totally thrown out of the window” on Saturday morning will be “recorded in black letters in history”.
Tewari also said the Congress hopes the Supreme Court will go into the manner in which the Constitution, rules, regulations, precedents and traditions were thrown to the winds when Koshyari acted in the “most partisan manner possible”. Asked whether the Governor should resign, Tewari said even though morally he should, he will not, as the BJP and its leaders are not used to acting morally.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Today is our 70th Constitution Day. It is expected from all Indians, especially those holding Constitutional positions, to adhere to Constitutional values and morality. The least that the Governor of Maharashtra must do now is to display moral conscience and quit.”
His CPI counterpart D Raja said, “It is a blow to the BJP for its manipulative politics, subversion of Constitution and misuse of the offices of the Governor as well that of the President.”— with ENS, Kolkata
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines