Maharashtra Govt Formation Updates: At Maha-Aghadi's show of strength at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt, 162 MLAs pledge loyalty to NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena

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Maharashtra Govt Formation Updates: At Maha-Aghadi's show of strength at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt, 162 MLAs pledge loyalty to NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena
  • 22:03 (IST)

    Sena MPs meet Sonia Gandhi, say will boycott join session of Parliament on Constitution Day
     

    Shiv Sena MPs on Monday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and told her that they will not be part of the  joint sitting of Parliament called to commemorate the Constitution Day, reported PTI. 
     
    Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar said the party MPs met Gandhi and also conveyed that the party will be with the Opposition to protest against the political developments in Maharashtra. 
     
    The government is celebrating 'Constitution Day' or 'Samvidhan Diwas' on Tuesday in the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.

  • 21:02 (IST)

    Samajwadi Party backs Maha-Aghadi alliance

    "After an approval from party chief Akhilesh Yadav, I have given a letter showing of support from the SP to the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance," said Abu Azmi after attending the 'We are 162' show of strength in Mumbai. 

  • 20:58 (IST)

    BJP still has a chance to save its honour: Nawab Malik

    At the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that te BJP still has time to save its honour and said that the alliance would give a befitting reply if the BJP resorted to violence. 

     

  • 20:42 (IST)

    Parades can't prove majority in the Assembly: BJP's Ashish Shelar hits back

    Speaking to reporters after the Congress, NCP and Sena's show of strength, BJP's Ashish Shelar said that majority in Assembly can't be proved by such parades.

    Terming the event as an identification parade, he said the MLAs had insulted the people of Maharshtra. He also questioned whether 162 MLAs were present.  

  • 20:32 (IST)

    Confident that MLAs will vote against current government: Jayant Patil

    Speaking to reporters after the show of strength, NCP's Jayant Patil expressed confidence that the Aghadi will form government in the state. 

    "I am confident that in the floor test, all these 162 MLAs will vote against the present government of Maharashtra. Then, a new government will be formed," he said. 

    ANI

  • 20:26 (IST)

    Seeing our strength, CM should resign: Balasaheb Thorat

    Earlier at the 'We are 162' show of strength,  Congress' Babalasaheb Thorat said, "The first meeting of Maha Vikas Aghadi is happening here. This meeting is tell the ones in minority to resign. We have given a letter of 162 signatures to governor's office. After seeing our strength, the CM should resign."

  • 20:16 (IST)

    MLAs take pledge

    Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs assembled at Hotel Grand Hyatt took a pledge, "I swear that under the leadership of Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray and Sonia Gandhi, I will be honest to my party. I won't get lured by anything. I will not do anything which will benefit BJP."

  • 20:12 (IST)

    Fight for Satyamev Jayate, not Satta-mev Jayate: Uddhav Thackeray
     

    AddressingShiv Sena, Congress, NCP leaders and  MLAs, Uddhav Thackeray said, "We are not after power but want to defeat those responsible for power play. The fight is for Satyamev Jayate, not Satta-mev Jayate."

  • 20:08 (IST)

     We will teach them a lesson, says Sharad Pawar

    "You can see that all the 162 MLAs are present here. We are ready to face the assembly the day the Supreme Court orders floor test." Sharad Pawar said at the show of strength in Mumbai. 

    "Maharashtra is not Goa or Manipur, we will not allow anything like that in Maharashtra. We will teach them a lesson", said Pawar. 

  • 19:57 (IST)

    We are more than 162: Ashok Chavan

    Claiming that the Aghadi had majority, Ashok Chavan said," the governor should invite us to form government. "

  • 19:55 (IST)

    Democracy being murdered, alleges Ashok Chavan

    Speaking at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Ashok Chavan said: "It is a serious matter that we were not even given a few days to stake claim but the current governmnet requires more time to prove majority."

    "Democracy is being murdered in the country," he alleged, adding the governmennt being run by the BJP is a dadagiri government. 

  • 19:50 (IST)

    We will form govt, asserts Balasaheb Thorat

    "We are going to form a government nd have submitted letter to the governor with signatures of MLAs", said state Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat. 

  • 19:21 (IST)

    Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya reach Grand Hyatt Hotel

    Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray have reached the Hotel Grand Hyatt where Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs have assembled. Apart from the MLAs, various state party leaders and Independent MLAs are also present at the hotel, reports News18. 

  • 19:14 (IST)

    Visuals form the Grand Hyatt Hotel

    Preparations are underway at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Mumbai, where NCP, Shiv Sena leaders have begun to arrive. 

  • 19:08 (IST)

    AAP's Maharashtra unit hits out at BJP over closure of cases


    In a series of tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party's Maharashtra unit hit out at the BJP over the closure of irrigation scam cases. 

    "The BJP and CM Devendra Fadnavis in their blind lust for power at all costs, have forgotten the very plank of anti-corruption that brought them to power, to begin with," said the party's spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon.

    Alleging that the move was part of a "quid pro quo", the party demanded that the decision be withdrawn.

  • 18:54 (IST)

    Shiv Sena MLAs reach Grand Hyatt Hotel

    A bus carrying Shiv Sena MLAs has reached the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, where the Maha Vikas Aghadi is set to put up a show of strength. 

  • 18:43 (IST)

    Three Shiv Sena MPs met Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, claim sources

    Three Shiv Sena leaders — Arvind Sawant, Gajanan Kirtikar and Rahul Shewale — met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi at 5.15 pm in Delhi today, sources were quoted as saying. Congress or Shiv Sena have not officially said anything as of now. 

  • 18:22 (IST)

    Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule reach Grand Hyatt hotel in Mumbai

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar, along with his daughter Supriya Sule reached the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai. 

    Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut had tweeted earlier, 'Watch our 162 (MLAs) together for the first time at Grand Hyatt at 7 pm, come and watch yourself Maharashtra Governor."

  • 18:12 (IST)

    Parliament was adjourned after Opposition protested over political situation in Maharashtra

     
    Earlier in the day, vehement protests by Opposition members, especially those from the Congress, in the Lok Sabha over the political crisis in Maharashtra forced adjournment of the House proceedings for the day, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi dubbing the developments in the state as "murder of democracy".
     
    PTI

  • 17:57 (IST)

    Ajit Pawar not related to any of nine cases closed today, says ACB DG Parambir Singh

    "Ajit Pawar's name does not figure in any of the nine inquiries that have been closed today. No irregularities were found in these nine inquiries. These are routine inquiries.," Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) DG, Parambir Singh told ANI. 

  • 17:44 (IST)

    Congress steps up attack on BJP over closure of cases

    Terming the closing of cases "a blot on democracy'", Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that it is being used as "a bargaining tool to carry on an illegitimate BJP-Ajit Pawar government" in the state. 

  • 17:38 (IST)

    Shiv Sena protests in Aurangabad, demands for hike in compensation to farmers

    The Shiv Sena has demanded an additional financial aid for the farmers whose crop got destroyed in unseasonal rains in Maharashtra.
     
    Activists of the Sena organised morchas on government offices and handed over representations in nine talukas in Aurangabad district, which falls under the
    worst-hit Marathwada region.
     
     
    "Our demands include that insurance companies pay 25 percent of the insured sum to farmers in cases where they had lost crops on more than  50 percent of their fields," Sena leader Ambadas Danve said.

  • 17:29 (IST)

    Woman from Thane approaches Bombay HC, alleges BJP, Shiv Sena 'betrayed voters' trust'

    Earlier in the day Priya Chauhan, a voter from Thane, moved the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the BJP and Shiv Sena to stand by their pre-poll alliance and form government in the state as they got the "public mandate".

    The plea alleges that the Shiv Sena and the BJP "betrayed the trust of voters" by changing their alliances and not fulfilling promises. 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    162 MLAs of Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP combine to meet at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai at 7 pm

    "We are all one and together. Watch our 162 (MLAs) together for the first time at Grand Hyatt (in Mumbai) at 7 pm," tweeted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, tagging the Governor of Maharashtra. 

  • 17:05 (IST)

    No 'Operation Lotus', Sanjay Raut's allegations false, says Raosaheb Danve

    BJP's Raosaheb Danve told ANI, "There is no 'Operation Lotus'; we have enough MLAs to claim majority, we are not threatening any MLA. Sanjay Raut's allegations are false."

  • 16:54 (IST)

    Shutting of cases conditional, say ACB sources

    ACB sources told ANI that the closing of cases was conditional and that the cases can be reopened if more information came to light. 

  • 16:38 (IST)

    None of the cases related to the irrigation scam against Ajit Pawar, claim ACB sources

    According to highly placed sources in Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), in the list of cases being circulated on social media, none of the cases belong to alleged irrigation corruption case against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

    ANI

  • 16:32 (IST)

    Congress reacts to shutting of cases in irrigation scam

    Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, without naming anyone, reacted to the shutting of nine cases related to the irrigation scam. 

  • 16:14 (IST)

    Recommendations were given 3 months ago, claims top police official

    ACB, DG Paramvir Singh told News18-India, "We had recommended almost 3 months ago that there was no role of Ajit Pawar in these 9 cases, probe is on in other cases related to the irrigation scam.......we are probing more than 3000 irregularities in this scam."

  • 16:10 (IST)

    Shutting of cases a routine matter, claim govt sources

    Govt sources told News18 that the shutting of cases is a routine matter and has been done under the direction of Bombay High Court, which had ordered certain action before 28 November. It had nothing to do with Ajit Pawar, the source was quoted as saying. 

  • 16:06 (IST)

    Now we know reason behind alliance: Priyanka Chaturvedi

    "Cases closed, corruption charges dropped, shamelessness to be in power exposed," tweeted Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi. 

  • 15:45 (IST)

    Breaking: Nine cases in irrigation scam closed

    Nine cases related to the irrigation scam have been closed, 48 hours after Ajit Pawar was sworn in as the deputy chief minister. News18 reported that the cases related to the Rs 70,000  Vidarbha Pathbandhare Mahamandal scam have been closed, accoding to a letter dated 25 November.

  • 15:26 (IST)

    Wrong to say I am behind Ajit Pawar's revolt: Sharad Pawar

     
    Speaking to reporters in Karad town of Satara district, NCP chief Sharad Pawar reiterated that the decision of aligning with the BJP was that of his nephew Ajit Pawar and not of the NCP.
     
     
    "It is not the party's decision and we do not endorse it," Pawar said. "It is wrong to say that I have a hand behind Ajit Pawar's revolt," PTI reported him as saying.
     
     
    He also asserted that the NCP- Congress-Shiv Sena combine would definitely form the government in the state.

  • 15:17 (IST)

    National broadcaster Prasar Bharati left out of swearing-in ceremony coverage

    National broadcaster Prasar Bharati was not invited to cover the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy Ajit Pawar that was held around 8 am on 23 November, The Economic Times reported.

    The ceremony, which was held at the Raj Bhavan, was reported about by ANI, even as the official channel to cover news concerning the government Doordarshan was kept in the dark about the event. All India Radio was informed at the last minute as the correspondent in Mumbai was in touch with Fadnavis’ office.

    On Saturday, while Doordarshan showed a six-minute bulletin with had ANI visuals, the All India Radio’s coverage said ‘details awaited’. The DD news report had a telephonic explainer from the correspondent who termed the event “a shocker that no one was aware of”. The Marathi bulletin of the event in Mumbai at 8.45 am too had no original visuals.

  • 15:02 (IST)

    BJP will dump Ajit Pawar just like it disrespected 25-year-old ally, Sena writes in editorial


    In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Siv Sena launched a scathing attack on the BJP, saying that those who did not respect their 25-year-long friendship with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party will one day dump NCP leader Ajit Pawar as well.

    The editorial also said that Ajit Pawar’s rebellion failed and it will be proved in the next few days. "It is height of cheating as the governor accepted a letter of support submitted by Ajit Pawar which he had stolen from his party office. We don't want to insult this institution by calling it 'shamelessness'," the Sena said about the hurried swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis and the NCP leader.

    The BJP's "art of deceiving and culture of brokering" has led Maharashtra into this political instability, it said.

  • 14:57 (IST)

    BJP leaders will go crazy in absence of power, says Shiv sena's Sanjay Raut


    Mental health clinics will be opened in various parts of Maharashtra after BJP leaders go crazy in the absence of power after the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress form the government in Maharashtra, Sena leader Sanjay Raut told reporters.

    Raut said his party, the NCP and Congress have the required numbers and will prove to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari that they have the numbers to form government in Maharashtra.

    Raut said the BJP acted like "Chambal dacoits" to form government in the state without having majority. Raut alleged that four MLAs of NCP were "detained by either the BJP or Haryana Police" as the party is in power in that state. "They can stoop to any level to gain political power," he said.

    PTI

  • 14:43 (IST)

    BJP will be in the government after floor test, say BJP sources


    BJP sources told CNN-News18 that the party will certainly be in the government after the Maharashtra Assembly floor test.

    Speaking on horse trading charges, the sources said that the murder of democracy happened when the NCP tried to make Uddhav Thackeray, who contested along side the BJP in a pre-poll alliance, the chief minister.

  • 14:27 (IST)

    Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm


    Both Houses of the Parliament were adjourned amid continuous sloganeering over the political crisis in Maharashtra. Proceedings will resume at 2 pm on Tuesday.

    The day's proceedings were marred by protests by the Opposition. Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi led protests by the party atthe Parliament complex's Gandhi statue, while many parties gave adjournment notices in both the Houses.

  • 14:20 (IST)

    Shiv Sena MLAs were shifted to another Mumbai hotel


    Shiv Sena lawmakers were shifted from Mumbai's Lalit Hotel to the Lemon Tree Hotel.

    Earlier in the day, NCP MLAs were shifted from the Renaissance Hotel in Powai to the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

  • 14:18 (IST)

    At Delhi hotel, presence of 100-200 BJP workers intimidating, says Anil Patil


    NCP MLA Anil Patil, who went missing after Ajit Pawar took oath as deputy chief minister and was brought back to Mumbai from Delhi by party leaders. "When we reached the hotel (in Delhi), at least 100-200 BJP workers were present there, along with a lot of police cars and personnel in civil dress. We were scared and told Sharad Pawar that we want to return and stay with the NCP," he said.

    Patil said that the NCP chief gave an assurance that they will be brought back and made necessar arrangements.

    Along with Patil, NCP leaders also brought back party MLA Daulat Daroda.

  • 14:02 (IST)

    Fadnavis signs first cheque of current tenure as Chief Minister


    With the Supreme Court reserving its order for 10.30 am on Tuesday bringing relief of 24 hours for the current government in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis signed the first cheque during his current tenure under the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

  • 13:42 (IST)

    Protests turn violent as Youth Congress workers agitate against the political crisis in Maharashtra

  • 13:40 (IST)

    Sena's claim for govt formation should be considered once BJP fails floor test, says letter submitted at Raj Bhavan


    Leaders of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress submitted a letter to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, claiming they have the required numbers to form government in the state. The letter was signed by Eknath Shinde, Jayant Patil and Balasaheb Thorat, the legislature party leaders of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, respectively.
     

    The post-poll allies claimed it has the majority whereas the recently sworn in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis "does not have the required numbers". "Once Fadnavis fails to prove his majority during the floor test, the Shiv Sena's claim for government formation should be considered," the parties said in the letter.
     
    "We have attached the list of NCP and Congress MLAs supporting Sena's claim along with other smaller parties and  Independents who have extended their support. We should be called to form government immediately," they said.​​
     

  • 13:36 (IST)

    BJP's win is Maharashtra is both political and moral, says Ravi Shankar Prasad


    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the Supreme Court hearing that the BJP and Shiv Sena got a mandate to form a government with Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister. "It's the Congress that is murdering democracy and questioning us on the same. BJP's win in state is both moral and political victory, which the Congress is trying to hijack," he said.

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that it is a fact that BJP did not get majority and hence, it did not form the government. "They had even written to the Governor initially that they don't have the majority and hence will not form the government. This is not something for which a single individual takes a decision, it has to be decided by the party when the matter comes before it," he said.

  • 13:25 (IST)

    People’s government will be established in Maharashtra, says Randeep Surjewala


    Congress leader Randeep Surjewala expressed confidence that democracy will win in Maharashtra and expressed confidence in winning the Assembly floor test.

    “We told court democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra and showed signatures of 154 MLAs. People's government will be established in Maharashtra,” he said.

  • 13:14 (IST)

    Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena submit letter claiming support of 162 MLAs


    Jayant Patil said after visiting the Raj Bhavan, “Today morning at 10 am, (Eknath) Shinde ji, (Balasaheb) Thorat ji, (Ashok) Chavan ji, Vinayak Raut ji, Azmi ji, KC Padvi and I - on behalf of NCP, gave a letter to Governor showing strength of 162 MLAs.”

    He alleged that the current government in Maharashtra has been formed on the basis of “false papers and documents”. “We are in a position to bring 162 MLAs before Maharashtra Governor at any given time,” Patil said.​

    Shinde said that a letter of support of 162 MLAs was submitted at the Raj Bhavan. “In a democracy, only the majority number holds importance. We want that the minority government formed on 23 November should resign as they can't prove the majority. Those with the majority should be given the opportunity," he said.

  • 12:56 (IST)

    NCP MLAs were being intimidated in Gurugram, says Sanjay Raut


    “There are four people in Operation Kamal - CBI, ED, Income Tax department and police carry out Operation Kamal. But it will not yield any result here. If you have the majority then why do you need an Operation Kamal?” he asked.

    Raut said that NCP MLAs were being intimidated. “They were been kept at a Gurugram hotel from where Shiv Sena and NCP cadre rescued them and brought them back,” he said.

  • 12:36 (IST)

    Sonia Gandhi led protests by the Congress against the political crisis in Maharashtra


    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha, "I wanted to ask a question in the House but it doesn't make any sense to ask a question right now as democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra."

  • 12:29 (IST)

    Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha adjourned amid ruckus of Maharashtra political crisis


    Both the Houses of the Parliament were adjourned till 2 pm after witnessing an uproar over the political crisis in Maharashtra.

    Adjournment notices were served by Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPM and IUML in the Lok Sabha over the government formation imbroglio in Maharashtra. DMK and CPM gave a Suspension of Business Notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha  owing to the same matter.

  • 12:19 (IST)

    Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar pay tribute to YB Chavan on his death anniversary

Maharashtra Govt Formation Updates:  "After an approval from party chief Akhilesh Yadav, I have given a letter showing of support from the SP to the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance," said Abu Azmi after attending the 'We are 162' show of strength in Mumbai.

Speaking to reporters after Congress, NCP and Sena's show of strength, BJP's Ashish Shelar said that majority in Assembly can't be proved by such parades. Terming the event as an 'identification parade', he said the MLAs had insulted the people of Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs assembled at Hotel Grand Hyatt took a pledge, "I swear that under the leadership of Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray and Sonia Gandhi, I will be honest to my party. I won't get lured by anything. I will not do anything which will benefit BJP."

Speaking at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar asserted that the NCP, Congress and Sena will form government in the state.

"You can see that all the 162 MLAs are present here. We are ready to face the assembly the day the Supreme Court orders floor test." Sharad Pawar said at the show of strength in Mumbai.

Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray have reached the Hotel Grand Hyatt where Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress MLAs have assembled. Apart from the MLAs, various state party leaders and Independent MLAs are also present at the hotel, reports News18. 

NCP's Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule have reached the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai. 162 MLAs of the Sena, NCP, Congress combine are expected to be present at the venue.

Terming the closure of irrigation scam cases "contract killing of democracy'", Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that it is being used as "a bargaining tool to carry on an illegitimate BJP-Ajit Pawar government" in the state.

"We are all one and together. Watch our 162 (MLAs) together for the first time at Grand Hyatt (in Mumbai) at 7 pm," tweeted Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, tagging the Governor of Maharashtra.

According to highly placed sources in Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), in the list of cases being circulated on social media, none of the cases belong to alleged irrigation corruption case against Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, reported ANI. 

Nine cases related to the irrigation scam were closed, 48 hours after Ajit Pawar was sworn in as the deputy chief minister on Saturday. News18 reported that the cases related to the Vidarbha Pathbandhare Mahamandal have been shut.

On the second day of hearing the petition filed by the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, the Supreme Court reserved its order for 10.30 am on Tuesday after arguments were concluded. While NCP and Shiv Sena lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal pushed for an immediate floor test, the apex court gave the newly sworn-in Devendra Fadnavis a 24 hours' breather.

Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP MLAs visited the Raj Bhavan to submit affidavits signed by 162 MLAs supporting the tripartite alliance and rejecting Fadnavis' installation as the Chief Minister.

Additionally, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 2 pm after ruckus in both the Parliament Houses over the political imbroglio in Maharashtra.

NCP MLAs were shifted in the wee hours from the Renaissance Hotel to the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai.

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance submitted affidavits of 162 MLA's — the majority magic number to form government being 145 — to the Supreme Court today to argue that it has a majority in the Maharashtra assembly. Fifty-six MLAs from Shiv Sena, 44 from Congress, 46 from NCP, and eight Independents have signed identical affidavits against Devendra Fadnavis' unprecedented swearing-in on Saturday.

NCP leader Nawab Malik struck a hopeful note and said, "Ffity MLAs are with us but not everyone is at the hotel.

Sharad Pawar has refuted Ajit Pawar's claim, and said that there is no question of an alliance with the BJP.

Congress leader Ashok Chavan said, "BJP is trying to gain more time from the Supreme Court, you can understand the motive behind this, they are trying to poach MLAs from other parties."

The BJP on Sunday accused its one-time ally Shiv Sena of committing the "sin" of abandoning its founder Bal Thackeray's thoughts of aligning with the BJP by joining hands with the Congress and the NCP.

On a somewhat unexpected note, Ajit Pawar has said, "I am in the NCP and shall always be in the NCP and (Sharad Pawar) Saheb is our leader."

According to a senior leader attending the meeting in the Renaissance Hotel, Uddhav Thackeray confirmed that NCP, Sena, Congress and independents together have close to 165 MLAs.

The Shiv Sena has posted a tweet saying, "Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray provided guidance to party MLAs."

Meeting of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs chaired by party chief Sharad Pawar concluded at the Hotel Renaissance. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut were also present at the meeting. Uddhav told the MLAs, "Do not worry, this relationship will go long, our alliance will go a long way."

NCP's Ajit Pawar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, "We will ensure a stable Government that will work hard for the welfare of the people of Maharashtra." Pawar's tweet came hours after the Supreme Court rejected BJP's plea of granting three days' time to prove majority on the floor of the Assembly.

The Supreme Court on Sunday held an urgent hearing of a petition filed by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine, seeking quashing of the Maharashtra Governor's decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister. The Supreme Court also rejected Centre's plea to grant them three days to respond on Floor Test. The apex court, instead, ordered Centre to produce the letter of the Governor inviting them to form a government, and letters of support for Devendra Fadnavis by Monday morning.

Supreme Court hearing begins. Abhishek Manu Singhvi also cited the Goa and Uttarakhand cases where floor test was directed to be held within specific period of time. 'In Uttarakhand case, a 'composite' floor test was directed  between contesting political alliances. Same thing was ordered in Jagdambika Pal case,' Singhvi tells Supreme Court. 'If floor test is ordered for tomorrow, larger issues may come back to the Supreme Court later. How is it possible for someone claiming majority yesterday to shy away from a floor test today. If floor test is ordered, it is not an invasive adversarial order at all. Floor test is only a constitutional obligation of a democracy. How is it adversarial?'

Kapil Sibal apologises to the Supreme Court bench for the hearing on a Sunday and says, "But we are not the only ones to blame". Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for some BJP and Independent MLAs, says, "I was on Karnataka case also. This case should have gone through 226 jurisdiction first. The government has been formed for now so there is no reason for this Sunday hearing," Rohatgi tells Supreme Court. The judges hit back. Justice Bhushan hit back saying, "That is the discretion of the CJI, Mr Rohatgi."

"It appears that the Governor is acting directly under the orders of a political party. The act of Governor smacks of bias, is mala fide contrary to all norms. Only thing to do today is if they believe they have the numbers, majority and can prove their support, they should be directed to conduct floor test today itself," Sibal told the 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court.

Sibal apprises the court of the developments in Maharashtra starting from election results. "In the formation of the government, governors have some discretion as is decided by the Judgments of this Court. In this case, a pre-poll alliance broke down and we have to look at the post-poll alliance now. A common minimum program was arrived at and that Uddhav Thackeray would be the chief minister. It is bizarre that on Saturday at 5.47 am the President's Rule was revoked and in less than three hours Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in. From thereon, everything is shrouded in mystery, what documents were given, what material was placed, nothing is in public domain."

Kapil Sibal begins arguments in the Supreme Court. The apex court is hearing a petition filed by the Sena-Congress-NCP combine against the appointment of Devendra Fadnavis as the Maharashtra Chief Minister.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor-General KM Nataraj, senior counsels and Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Devadatt Kamat are present in the courtroom. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan are present in the court. NCP leader and lawyer Majeed Memon was also seen.

After a meeting with NCP Sharad Pawar at his residence, senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal said that 49-50 MLAs are with the party chief and one or two more are expected to add to this strength. He expressed confidence that a NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress government will be formed in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Congress leader Ashok Chavan reached Sharad Pawar's Mumbai residence, while NCP's Dilip Walse Patil visited Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

The Supreme Court will hear the petition at 11.30 am on Sunday. The bench will comprise Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna. While Attorney General KK Venugopal will represent the Centre, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi will argue for the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) respectively. The petition sought that the court issue appropriate directions to summon a special session of the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly with the only agenda of administering oath to the MLAs, immediately followed by the holding of a floor test on Sunday, in order to thwart horse-trading and "illegal manoeuvres" in the state.

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress alliance on Saturday evening approached the Supreme Court against Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision to invite  BJP's Devendra Fadnavis to form the Maharashtra government.

The apex court is set to hear the matter at 11.30 am tomorrow.

 Maharashtra Govt Formation Updates: At Maha-Aghadis show of strength at Mumbais Grand Hyatt, 162 MLAs pledge loyalty to NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena

Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra for the second consecutive term. PTI

In its petition, the Sena alleged that the dispensation in Maharashtra was a "minority government" and that the governor exercised his discretion illegally. The Sena also requested that a floor test be conducted within 24 hours to prevents attempts at poaching

This development came after an astounding twist on Saturday morning when Fadnavis returned as chief minister propped up by Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy.

Just hours earlier, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress alliance had reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be their chief ministerial candidate.

Fadnavis and Ajit were sworn in by Koshyari around 7.30 am at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai after President's Rule in the state was lifted in a dramatic overnight development.

Ajit's decision created a fissure in the NCP, whose chief Sharad Pawar distanced himself from his nephew's dramatic action, saying the decision to back Fadnavis for his second consecutive term was "a personal choice" and not that of the party.

Later in the day, the NCP removed Ajit as the party's legislature unit head, saying his move was not in line with the party's policies and gave state unit head Jayant Patil temporary rights until the election of a new leader.

There has been no official confirmation on reports that the governor has asked Fadnavis to prove his majority in the Assembly by 30 November.

There were also reports that Fadnavis and Ajit met the governor separately late last night, after which he sent a report to the Centre suggesting that the President's Rule be lifted.

'Murder of democracy'

After the dramatic early morning swearing in, leaders of the Sena and Congress cried foul, calling the governor's action as a "murder of democracy" and a "black day in the history of Maharashtra".

While Uddav Thackeray said it is a surgical strike on the people of Maharashtra and they would avenge it, Sena leader Sanjay Raut accused Ajit of stabbing people of Maharashtra in the back by deciding to join hands with the BJP.

The Congress termed the swearing-in a "black chapter" in India's history, and said the BJP acted as a "contract killer" of democracy and the governor once again proved to be BJP chief Amit Shah's "hitman".

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said "opportunist" Ajit, accused by the saffron party in the past of corruption, was "scared" of being put behind bars by the BJP.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot demanded the resignation of the governor on "moral grounds", asserting that he acted in connivance with the BJP to make Fadnavis the chief minister. Asserting that the 'Aghadi' combine would come to power, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said that the three parties would fight the situation on the political and legal front.

'We have electoral, moral mandate'

The BJP, however, asserted that it had the "electoral and moral" mandate to form a government in Maharashtra and brushed aside the criticism of its alliance with NCP leader, saying the tie-up was guided by the "given situation".

The swearing-in ceremony was held soon after the President's Rule, imposed on 12 November, was revoked. President Ram Nath Kovind signed the proclamation for revocation of the Central rule and a gazette notification to this effect was issued at 5.47 am.

As questions cropped up whether a meeting of the Union Cabinet was held to recommend revocation of the President's Rule, a senior home ministry official said the approval was given by the Central government by invoking a special provision of The Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules which gives the prime minister special powers.

The Rule 12 says: "Departure from Rules.- The Prime Minister may, in any case or classes of cases, permit or condone a departure from these rules, to the extent he deems necessary". The prime minister gave this approval, which acts as post-facto approval of the Union Cabinet, the official said.

The swearing-in ceremony came as a political shocker, with  Sharad describing his nephew Ajit Pawar's decision to join hands with the BJP an act of indiscipline, and said his nephew and other MLAs of the party who have switched sides would attract the provisions of the anti-defection law.

By the end of the day, atleast nine of the 11 NCP MLAs who had accompanied Ajit to the Raj Bhavan reiterated their loyalty to the senior Pawar and claimed to not know about the reason behind their being summoned in the morning.

NCP MLA Dhananjay Munde, a staunch supporter of Ajit Pawar, was present at the meeting of party legislators at the YB Chavan centre in south Mumbai later in the day.

Regarding the letter of support submitted to the governor, Pawar said that the governor had been misled by Ajit. "Ajit, by virtue of being the NCP legislature party leader, possessed the list of all the 54 party MLAs with names, signatures and constituencies for internal party use. I presume he has submitted that list as a letter of support to the governor. If this is true, the governor has been misled," he said.

Meanwhile, reports emerged that the Congress would shift its MLAs to a resort in Jaipur to avoid horse-trading.

Speaking to BJP workers at the party office in Mumbai, Fadnavis said he would give Maharashtra a strong government with Ajit Pawar's support. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "Modi hai toh mumkin hai!"

Meanwhile, claiming that the new BJP-led dispensation would not pass the floor test, the senior Pawar asserted that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has the numbers and will form the government.

The senior Pawar said he was not aware if his nephew decided to support the BJP out of the fear of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Ajit is among those named in the multi-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam case.

 NCP Chief Sharad Pawar after a meeting with party MLAs in Mumbai. PTI

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar after a meeting with party MLAs in Mumbai. PTI

The NCP chief also rejected the speculation that Ajit's defiance was the result of power struggle with Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule over the post of chief minister. Sule put up a WhatsApp status regarding a split within the party and the family.

Pawar said the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, along with Independents and smaller parties, have the support of 169 to 170 MLAs, and they were ready to form the government.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik too asserted that the NCP, Congress, Sena combine had the numbers to prove majority and added that they would defeat the BJP-led government in the Assembly Speaker's election.

Fifty of the party's 56 MLAs reportedly attended the party's meeting headed by Sharad Pawar, raising questions regarding the exact number of NCP MLAs who had lent support to the BJP.

The day's dramatic events also saw a missing person's complaint being filed for an MLA from the NCP. Shahapur MLA Daulat Daroda went 'missing' after reaching Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai in the morning. Daroda left his constituency in neighbouring Thane, along with his son Karan on Friday night and has been unreachable after reaching Mumbai, a police official said.

The BJP and the Sena, which fought the Assembly polls in an alliance, had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member House. The Sena broke its three-decade ties with the BJP after the latter declined to share the chief minister's post on a rotational basis.

The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively. After the BJP and Sena both failed to stake claim to government formation, the governor had invited the NCP to form government.

President's Rule was imposed in the state after no single party or alliance could stake claim to form government.  The Sena, Congress and NCP had been in talks ever since and had drawn up a common minimum programme which would serve as the agenda if the combine came to power.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 25, 2019 22:07:31 IST