The Shiv Sena, the Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party on Monday staked claim to form the government in Maharashtra, reported NDTV.
The alliance of the three parties submitted letters of support to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The NCP, whose rebel leader Ajit Pawar joined hands with the BJP to be sworn in as the deputy chief minister on Saturday, handed over the signatures of 51 of its 54 MLAs in the Assembly. The three NCP MLAs’ signatures missing from the letter are those of Ajit Pawar, Anna Bansod and Narhari Zhirwal.
“Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis does not have the majority and would not be able to prove it on the floor of the house,” the letter, signed by Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and NCP’s Jayant Patil, said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Once he failed to prove the majority, we the alliance led by Shiv Sena, should be given an opportunity to form the government.”
After visiting the Raj Bhavan, Patil told reporters that the alliance has the support of 162 MLAs.
This came as the Supreme Court reserved its order on the floor test. The top court was hearing a petition jointly filed by the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress against the governor’s decision to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government early on Saturday. They had also demanded a floor test in the Assembly within 24 hours. On Sunday, the top court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to produce the letters of support based on which the governor invited the BJP to form government.
The political crisis in Maharashtra
The BJP had won 105 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, results of which were announced on October 24. The Shiv Sena, which was in an alliance with the BJP, won 56 seats. However, the BJP refused to accede to the Shiv Sena’s demand for the chief minister’s post for two-and-a-half years, following which the Sena began negotiations with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. President’s Rule was declared in Maharashtra on November 12, even as the negotiations continued.