Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress Move Supreme Court After BJP's Maharashtra Coup

Maharashtra: The Congress's Randeep Singh Surjewala in a press conference this evening said the BJP has "betrayed" the people of Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP have gone to the Supreme Court

Highlights

  • Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP have approached the Supreme Court
  • Congress said BJP has "betrayed" people of Maharashtra
  • The three parties focussed their attack on Governor over the situation
Mumbai:

The Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP have approached the Supreme Court after the BJP suddenly announced it would form government in Maharashtra and installed Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and the NCP's Ajit Pawar as his deputy.

The Congress's Randeep Singh Surjewala in a press conference this evening said the BJP has "betrayed" the people of Maharashtra. "November 23 will be a black chapter in the history of India when an illegitimate government was constituted by the Governor acting as a hitman on the Constitution of India at the instance of the Home Minister," Mr Surjewala said.

"Our people are there. Registry is open now. They will decide on the urgency of the case. Petition on behalf of three parties have been filed, Supreme Court registry is processing it for further action," said senior advocate Devadutt Kamat for the three parties, according to news agency ANI.

The three parties that had been working out the fine contours of forming government in Maharashtra, until the BJP announced its move today, approached the Supreme Court against what they claimed is an "illegitimate government". They focussed their attack on the Governor over the situation.

"There is nothing in public domain as to how and in what manner Shri Devendra Fadnavis and/or the BJP had staked claim power between the intervening night of 22.11.2019 and 23.11.2019," the three parties said in their petition to the Supreme Court.

"Further there is no material in the public domain to show that Shri Devendra Fadnavis had carried letters of support of 144 MLA's (which in any event was not legally possible to do). The Petitioners categorically assert that all the MLA's of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are completely and solidly with the alliance except for Shri Ajit Pawar," the petition said.

"It is submitted that the Hon'ble Governor has acted in a partisan manner and has made a mockery of the high office of the Governor. It is respectfully submitted that the Governor's actions between the intervening night of 22.11.2019 and 23.11.2019 culminating to the swearing in on the 23.11.2019 are a text book example of the Governor acting at the behest of a political party in power at the Centre," it said.

The Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Ajit Pawar had been present last night at a meeting in which the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress had sealed an alliance with Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister. "From the day the results were announced to this day.... no party was able to form the government. Maharashtra was facing many issues, including farmer issues. So we decided to form a stable government," he said.

For the 7.50 am oath ceremony, which suddenly flashed on TV screens, President's rule was revoked at 5.47 am after a signoff by President Ram Nath Kovind. There was no meeting of the Union Cabinet, as is the practice in such decisions. The Prime Minister can clear a decision without his cabinet in cases of "extreme urgency or unforeseen contingency", according to the rules. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had last evening cancelled his trip to Delhi for a three-day conference.

"Maharashtra needed a stable government, not a khichidi shaasan (mishmash government)," Devendra Fadnavis said after being sworn in as Chief Minister for the second time, adding that the Shiv Sena "did not follow people's mandate". "I thank NCP and Ajit Pawar for supporting us," he added, on a deputy he had often criticized for corruption.

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