Even as the Shiv Sena prepares to join hands with the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, a Mumbai resident today sought a Supreme Court directive preventing the Governor from inviting the "unholy alliance" to form the state government.
"The parties that are now forming an alliance in Maharashtra had fought against each other in the assembly elections. If they form the government, it will amount to betraying the mandate of the people, and a government formed against the mandate of the people must be declared unconstitutional," a public interest litigation filed by Surendra Indrabahadur Singh said.
Although the BJP and Shiv Sena contested the October 21 assembly elections together to win 105 and 56 seats respectively, they fell out after the regional party persisted on its demand for sharing the chief ministerial post on a rotational basis. The Shiv Sena subsequently launched negotiations with the Congress and the NCP, and the three are expected to unitedly stake claim in the coming days.
However, this is not the first time such a petition has reached the Supreme Court. About a week ago, the top court had denied an urgent hearing for another plea that sought to stall such a political alliance from coming into being. The petition, filed by one Pramod Pandit Joshi, wanted the court to declare the coalition as fraudulent because it "amounted to betraying the people's trust reposed in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance".
"The act of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is unethical and contrary to the constitutional scheme for staking claim to form government without the legitimate alliance of political parties, which is far from the concept of popular government," the petition claimed.
BJP politicians have also referred to the emerging alliance in similar terms. "Opportunism is the base of their alliance. The three parties have united with the sole motto of keeping the BJP out of power. I have doubts whether this government will be formed... Even if it is formed, it will not last beyond six to eight months," Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said earlier today.
But sources claim that the Sena, Congress and NCP have come to an agreement on most issues, and were days away from forming the next government in the state. Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are reportedly amenable to the idea of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray becoming the next Chief Minister, and the swearing-in ceremony could happen as early as Sunday.
(With inputs from Agencies)