The Shiv Sena's troubleshooter Sanjay Raut, who had been crisscrossing from one party leader's house to another, and even travelled to Delhi to help hammer out a new alliance of the NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress, today expressed confidence of winning tomorrow's floor test in Maharashtra.
The Supreme Court today said the floor test has to be done within 24 hours or by tomorrow. All MLAs have to be sworn in by 5 pm, it said in its order on a petition by the NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena combine challenging the secretive government formation by the BJP last week.
"Truth has won. The court has given 30 hours, we can prove majority in 30 minutes," said Mr Raut, whose party pulled out its only cabinet minister in the NDA, Arvind Sawant, to show that it had snapped all its ties with the BJP. This was seen as a signal of its willingness to the Congress for an alliance.
After the results of the Maharashtra assembly election were declared, Mr Raut came out as the loudest critic of the BJP when his party couldn't come to an agreement with the BJP over a 50:50 formula for sharing chief ministership.
"In a situation wherein, 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," said the court.
The alliance, which claims it has the support of 162 MLAs - 145 is the majority mark in Maharashtra - is hopeful of forming government after the Supreme Court ordered the floor test.
Questions were raised over the compatibility between Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena and the Congress while talks over stitching the new alliance were going on over a week ago.