SC will decide on Tuesday about floor test in Maharastra Assembly

The Supreme Court on Monday, November 25 reserved ruling till tomorrow on the demand of the Shiv Sena, NCP and INC for immediate floor test in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly claiming that the state government headed by Devendra Fadnavis lacks majority support. Another claim made by the alliance in the apex court is that despite having no majority support, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sworn in Fadnavis as CM and Ajit Pawar as deputy CM.The Governor has given them time till November to face trust vote. Ajit Pawar through his counsel claimed in the court that he was the real NCP and is supported by 54 newly elected MLAs. Ahead of  the court commencing  hearing a joint plea filed by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress against the Maharashtra Governor’s decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the Centre submitted letters of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Fadnavis  as  was asked by the bench comprising justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna. The Centre told the Bench that the Governor had in absolute discretion invited the largest party to form government on November 23.The move came just hours after NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress had sealed a deal to form the government in the state. The Centre told a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna that the governor had in absolute discretion invited the largest party to form government on November 23.Early on Saturday morning, in a major political twist, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The move came just hours after NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress had sealed a deal to form the government in the state. The NCP won 54 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, finishing third after the BJP (105) and Shiv Sena (56). Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing NCP and Congress said, “When both the groups are open for Floor Test, why should there be a delay? Does a single NCP MLA say that they would want to join the BJP alliance? Is there a single covering letter saying this?. This was the fraud committed on democracy.”Kapil Sibal said the floor test should be conducted in 24 hours. It should be conducted with viedography and single ballot. He said they have original affidavits signed and have support of 154 MLAs. (48 from NCP, 56 from Sena, 44 from Congress, Other independent totalling 154).Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, appearing for Shiv Sena asked, what was the national emergency that President’s rule was revoked at 5.17 am and swearing in was at 8 am? President’s rule was revoked at 5.17 am that meant everything happened before it. Appearing for Ajit Pawar, Maninder Singh told SC, “The list of MLAs which I gave is constitutionally and legally correct.” Singh added (for Ajit Pawar), “And as a leader of the party, I am authorised to take a call on issues. I am NCP.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra Governor said, “Grant us 2-3 days’ time and let us file a reply. The Governor has in absolute discretion invited the largest party on November 23.”Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Fadnavis said: “My pre-poll alliance partner is turning a foe from a friend. I went to the Governor with the support of 170 MLAs. It is their (Pawar’s) family feud. One Pawar is with me, other with them. Nobody said the letter of support was fabricated. It is the other (Sharad) Pawar and the parties which are indulging horse-trading.” The governor in his letter to Fadnavis, said, “I have received letter from you ….you have also shown support of 11 MLAs independent and letter from NCP showing support of 54 MLAs. Thus, I note that you have support of 170 MLAs, (and so) I invite you to form the government.”Tushar Mehta told court that the Governor had no reason to disbelieve him (Ajit Pawar).Ajit Pawar’s November 22 letter to Governor reads that he needed a stable government and President Rule could not go on indefinitely. Letter added that the BJP had earlier asked Ajit Pawar to join them to form government but at that time he had declined due to insufficient support from NCP MLA,” Tushar Mehta added. The list was constitutionally, legally correct. There is nothing to show that I was not NCP leader on Nov 22,’ Singh told the court  on behalf of Ajit Pawar.

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