The key player of government formation in Maharashtra, right after the Shiv Sena’s split with its ally BJP, the Congress has strongly condemned the imposition of President’s rule in the state on Tuesday.

Right after the President Ram Nath Kovind signed the proclamation imposing President’s rule in Maharashtra based on Governor’s recommendation, leaders of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held a joint meeting in Mumbai. However the meeting was pre-planned by both the parties to discuss the terms on which they should give support to Shiv Sena to form the government, if they do so.

Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal arrived at the YB Chavan centre for meeting the NCP chief Sharad Pawar over the decision.

Later a press conference was held by the senior leaders of NCP and Congress.

Praful Patel, senior NCP leader told the media that the meeting was held to examine the political conditions in the state.

While addressing the mediapersons, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, “We condemn the imposition of President’s rule in Maharashtra. In last few years, the government has not followed the Supreme Court’s guidelines. The decision has mocked the democracy and the Constitution”.

“There were few points which needs to be cleared and then only we could have taken any decision on giving support. After discussing among us, we would have talked to Shiv Sena”, he added.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “Yesterday it was the first time when Uddhav Thackeray officially called me for the support. After today’s meeting, a joint understanding will be made”.

“There is no question of discussing common minimum programme with Shiv Sena as we were still in talks with our ally Congress”, he added.

On question about till when the decision will be made, taking a jibe at the six months governor rule Pawar said now as the Governor has given us enough time, there is no need to hurry.

In separate statements, the senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on the decision of the Governor rule in the state said, “There is a vast difference between a party saying ‘no’ and ‘yes’. BJP said no while the Shiv Sena said yes over the government formation but asked for time. Is three days too long?”

“On floor test you give 10 days 15 days time, these are not criminal but leaders who are elected by people. If a caretaker government would have continued for three or four more days, then what is the issue. Centre government’s assessment of Article 356 is to get time in the state to implements its ‘tactics’ to form the government” he added.

Singhvi further said that the Governor should have given time.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “Governor functions on centre’s directions, he does what the BJP wants. It is not about Maharashtra only, but it is about other states as well. This should not have been stretched this much as it was evident on October 24 itself that the Shiv Sena is not going with BJP”.

“In Karnataka, extra days can be given for the government formation but not in Maharashtra. If the Governor will function on centre’s directions, then what impact will it leave on the public”, Sibal said.

“After 2014, the governor’s role in every state is questionable. This is the misuse of authority and highly questionable”, he added.