- The four absentees are accounted for, tweeted Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi
- The three-party alliance paraded MLAs on Monday
- The alliance has challenged in the Supreme Court the BJP government
At the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress show of strength at a Mumbai five-star hotel on Monday evening, there were 158 MLAs – not 162 – as the three parties declared in posters, tweets and hashtags. But the four absentees are accounted for, tweeted Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi after the event that also starred Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar.
The four who were missing were NCP MLAs Narendra Zhirwal, who arrived in Mumbai later, Dharmarao Atram, who was in hospital, Congress's Prithviraj Chavan, who is in Delhi and Sunil Kedar, in Nagpur for local polls, Ms Chaturvedi tweeted with the hashtag #WeAre162.
Those interested in head count/ exact numbers, here goes:— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) November 25, 2019
Total 158 present at Hyatt meeting today
NCP: Zirval ji just reached, Dharmarao Atram ji is in the hospital unwell but in touch
Cong: Prithviraj Chavan ji in Delhi, Sunil Kedar ji in Nagpur for ZP elections #WeAre162
The three-party alliance, the "Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi", paraded MLAs before the media after staking claim to power on Monday morning.
The Shiv Sena has submitted to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari signatures of 63 MLAs (including independents), the Congress 44 and the NCP 51 (of 54). The Samajwadi Party has submitted the signatures of two members.
The alliance has challenged in the Supreme Court the government of BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, formed after a sudden oath ceremony on Saturday morning in which the NCP's Ajit Pawar was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister. The BJP told the court that the governor invited Mr Fadnavis on the basis of a letter of support from Ajit Pawar with signatures of all 54 NCP MLAs. Ajit Pawar's uncle Sharad Pawar has alleged that signatures taken for a different alliance were misused by the BJP and Ajit Pawar.
The BJP says it has the support of 170 MLAs, including the NCP.
The NCP has since claimed that all but Ajit Pawar are with the party; a few MLAs who went "missing" after attending the secretive oath ceremony also returned yesterday. These include Narendra Zhirwal and Dharmarao Atram.
Some of the MLAs have claimed that they were tricked into attending the oath ceremony without knowing what was going on, and that they remain with Sharad Pawar.