Ahead of the crucial Supreme Court hearing on government formation in Maharashtra on Monday, political parties are not taking any chances as far as guarding their MLAs against poaching attempts is concerned. At Mumbai's Renaissance hotel, where the Nationalist Congress Party had herded its around 50 MLAs, noisy scenes were witnessed when a senior party leader approached police officials in plainclothes and sought their identity cards.
The incident took place on Sunday evening. In a viral video, NCP MLA Jeetendra Awhad is seen asking police personnel what their purpose to be in the hotel was.
"Was just sitting there," the police officer replied.
Mr Awhad then demanded the officer produce his identity card.
"Such a high-ranking officer is sitting here for no reason? Do you think we are fools?" he says after examining the card.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP have herded their MLAs in different hotels across the Maharashtra capital after BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister in an unannounced ceremony early Saturday morning. Senior NCP leader and Sharad Pawar's nephew, Ajit, was also sworn in as Mr Fadnavis' deputy.
The NCP on late Sunday evening moved its flock of MLAs from the Renaissance Hotel to Hyatt near Mumbai airport. Sources say they were moved because there was too much disturbance at their current location; the Lalit and JW Marriott, where the Sena and the Congress have stashed their MLAs, respectively, are both nearby.
The stunning move was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Sena-Congress-NCP alliance. In a hearing on Sunday, the court said the centre must produce the letters of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claiming majority and that of the Governor inviting to form government. The letters have to be submitted by 10.30 am on Monday, the court said.
With inputs from PTI