Staking claim to the government in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress Monday submitted letters of support to the Governor. The three parties have claimed that they have the required numbers to form a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly and hence they should be invited to form the government.
“Once Fadnavis fails to prove his majority during the floor test, the Shiv Sena’s claim for government formation should be considered,” the parties said in the letter.
“We have attached the list of NCP and Congress MLAs supporting Sena’s claim along with other smaller parties and Independents who have extended their support. We should be called to form a government immediately,” they said.
The move came two days after BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the Maharashtra Chief Minister in an early morning ceremony with NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The oath ceremony took place at 7.50 am Saturday after President’s Rule was revoked at 5.47 am with Prime Minister Narendra Modi using a special rule to approve it without a cabinet meeting.
The three parties have approached the Supreme Court challenging the Governor’s decision to recommend revocation of President’s Rule and his decision of inviting Fadnavis to form the government. The hearing is currently underway. While the BJP has told the Supreme Court that it has the support of 170 MLAs, including all 54 of the NCP, Sharad Pawar has said that more than 50 MLAs are with him.
Stating that the BJP does not have the required support, the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena leaders in a joint statement requested Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite them to form the government. The letter to governor was signed by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Congress state president Balasaheb Thorat and NCP State president Jayant Patil.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has reiterated that the decision of aligning with the BJP was of his nephew Ajit Pawar and not the party. Asked whether the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena will form government in the state, he said, “There is not an iota of doubt that the government (of the combine) will be formed in Maharashtra.” He also said that he has no contact with his nephew, who rebelled against the NCP. On whether Ajit Pawar will be expelled from the NCP, he said the decision will be taken at the party-level.
In the 288-member Assembly, the BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44).
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