As the Supreme Court hearing in the Maharashtra government formation case continues today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Secretary of the Governor produces the letter dated November 22 by Ajit Pawar to Governor BS Koshyari that contains signatures of 54 NCP MLAs.
Yesterday, a three-judge bench of Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna asked the Centre to produce letters of support by 10.30 am on Monday morning – one used by Fadnavis in staking claim to form the government and that of the Governor inviting to form the government – for passing orders.
Mehta today told the apex court, “In terms of this letter, Governor requested the President to revoke the President’s Rule on November 22nd. The next morniing, on 23rd November, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari wrote to Devendra Fadnavis.”
“Following Ajit Pawar’s letter dated November 22nd, Devendra Fadnavis staked claim along with letters of support of 11 independent and other MLAs. The Governor then wrote to the President, requesting for revocation of the President’s Rule in Maharashtra. The letter cited support by 54 NCP MLAs along with the support of 11 independent MLAs and other parties as well.”
While senior council Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “My pre-poll alliance partner is turning a foe from a friend. I went to the Governor with the support of 170 MLAs. It is their (Pawar’s) family feud. One Pawar is with me, other with them. Nobody says the letter of support is fabricated. It is the other (Sharad) Pawar and the parties which are indulging horse-trading.”
The top court observed, the question today is whether the Chief Minister enjoys the majority in the House or not. This has to be decided on the floor of the House.
The Supreme Court will today give its decision on Maharashtra floor test as requested in a petition by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine after Saturday’s extraordinary government formation in the state.
The Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday moved the Supreme Court, seeking a floor test within 24 hours to avoid further horse-trading and “illegal manoeuvres” in Maharashtra.
The petition sought quashing of Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari’s decision inviting BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to form the government on Saturday morning as unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void-ab-initio, and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The apex court on Sunday said it is not aware of the order of the Maharashtra Governor over government formation in Maharashtra, as they deferred the hearing for Monday.
In a stunning political development, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister early on Saturday.
The surprise move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena had seemingly reached the final stage on Friday.