Devendra Fadnavis, Asked To Prove Majority, To Address Media At 3:30 pm

"We will prove our majority. Tonight at 9 pm, all BJP MLAs will meet at Garware Club in Mumbai," BJP leader Rao Saheb Danve told reporters after the Supreme Court ordered a trust vote, to be telecast live, "within 24 hours".

Maharashtra: Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister last week

Mumbai:

The BJP, asked to prove its majority in the Maharashtra assembly tomorrow, has called all its MLAs for a meeting at an exclusive sports club in Mumbai this evening. All 105 BJP MLAs have been summoned to the Garware Club at Wankhede Stadium at 9 pm.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will address the media at 3:30 pm today.

"We will prove our majority. Tonight at 9 pm, all BJP MLAs will meet at Garware Club in Mumbai," BJP leader Rao Saheb Danve told reporters after the Supreme Court ordered a trust vote, to be telecast live, "within 24 hours".

The Supreme Court acted on a petition challenging the manner in which the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took power after an early morning, unannounced oath ceremony on Saturday, with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)'s Ajit Pawar as his deputy.

The rival Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, petitioned the court, calling the sudden government formation undemocratic and unconstitutional.

The BJP had told the Supreme Court it was invited by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to form government after it showed a letter of support with the signatures of 170 MLAs, including all 54 MLAs of the NCP, smaller parties and independents.

The Aghadi argued that the BJP had opted out of the race after saying it didn't have enough for a majority. After it announced its alliance on Friday, 7 pm, President's Rule was cancelled at 5.47 am and Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in at 7.50 am.

The court today agreed with the anti-BJP alliance and said: "If the floor test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse-trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so."

The BJP's meeting tonight comes a day after the Sena, NCP and Congress paraded their MLAs at a five-star hotel, the Grand Hyatt. "We Are 162," the alliance claimed in posters and hashtags.

The NCP says all its MLAs are intact but for Ajit Pawar - the nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar - whose overnight defection facilitated to the surprise swearing in ceremony.

The BJP needs 40 more MLAs to prove a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, where 145 is the majority mark.

Though as pre-poll allies BJP and Shiv Sena (56) won enough to form government, they had a bitter falling out over the Sena's demand for rotational chief ministership.

The Sena then turned to the ideologically opposed NCP (54) and Congress (44). After days of talks, their alliance took shape on Friday. However, the next morning, they were stunned by the BJP's cup.

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