Governor "Acted Faster Than Rafale", Disses Sena's Sanjay Raut

Maharashtra crisis: The Governor acted a day after a BJP delegation told him the ruling coalition had lost its majority.

Shiv Sena leaders have accused the Governor of showing bias. (File)

Mumbai/New Delhi:

Shortly after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was ordered to prove his majority tomorrow, the Shiv Sena approached the Supreme Court against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's order.

The Governor acted a day after a BJP delegation told him the ruling coalition had lost its majority.

"The present political scenario unfolding in the state of Maharashtra paints a very disturbing picture," the Governor wrote in a letter asking the state assembly secretary to organise the floor test.

Team Thackeray, which has lost most party MLAs to rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, questioned the short notice, given that the Supreme Court had given the rebels time till July 12 to respond to disqualification notices.

"The Governor moved faster than the speed of a jet. It was jet speed. Even a Rafale jet is not as fast as this," said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, one of the few remaining Uddhav Thackeray loyalists.

He did not say it explicitly, but Sena leaders have accused the Governor of showing bias.

Mr Raut said Uddhav Thackeray would approach the Supreme Court against the Governor's order to hold a special assembly session for the test of majority. Any such move was "illegal" when the Supreme Court had yet to decide on the disqualification of the MLAs, he said.

"We have been saying that no floor test can happen without action against these MLAs. We have done everything in a legal manner. We are fighting this legally and will take it legally. If you want to fight us, fight us from the front," Mr Raut said.

"I will not say much about the Governor. He is the Constitutional head, but if this manner of functioning happens, we will have to take the actions we deem fit."

Uddhav Thackeray has lost more than 40 MLAs to rebel Eknath Shinde, who has been in touch with the BJP leadership at every step. He first left Mumbai last week with a group of rebels and moved to Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat. From there, he flew to Assam, another BJP-ruled state. More than 50 MLAs will head to Goa today after spending a week in a luxury hotel in Guwahati, protected by heavy state security.

The BJP, which has denied any role in the coup, made its first big move in the weeklong Maharashtra turmoil when former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met with the Governor last night and said Uddhav Thackeray must prove his majority.

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