Sena-NCP-Cong stake claim, say have support of 162 MLAs in Maharashtra

Just hours before the Supreme Court hearing on Maharashtra on Monday, leaders from Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress arrived at governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s office with a list of legislators supporting the alliance.

In a letter, signed by Congress state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena’s legislature party leader Eknath Shinde and NCP’s legislative party leader Jayant Patil, the alliance has requested the governor to call them to form a government.

“Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis does not have the majority and would not be able to prove it on the floor of the house. Once he failed to prove the majority, we the 0alliance led by Shiv Sena, should be given an opportunity to form the government,” said the letter.

Talking to reporters after his visit to Raj Bhavan, Jayant Patil said the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine has support of 162 MLAs.

The leaders submitted the letter to the private secretary of the Governor. Koshyari is in Delhi for a meet.

“The Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP delegation with their respective leaders have called on the Governor at Raj bhavan to register its claim to form the government in future as the incumbent government is definitely going to fall. State must not get President Rule again,” tweeted Sachin Sawant, Congress spokesperson.

In a move that took many by surprise, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Devendra Fadnavis was sworn-in as chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)’s Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister on Saturday morning.

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday decide on the opposition alliance’s request for an early floor test in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress argued in the court that their coalition— Maha Vikas Aghadi—should be invited by the governor to form a government in the state.

The top court had on Sunday ordered the Centre to produce governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s invitation to Fadnavis to form the government and the chief minister’s letter to the governor staking the BJP’s claim to do so.

Fadvavis’ swearing in had taken place just hours after NCP boss Sharad Pawar announced that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray would head the coalition of the three parties.

Sharad Pawar said his nephew Ajit Pawar’s decision to ally with BJP an act of indiscipline and legislators of the party who switched sides will attract provisions of the anti-defection law. By Saturday evening, Ajit Pawar was removed as the NCP legislature party leader.

On Sunday evening, Ajit Pawar took to Twitter and claimed that he is still part of NCP and NCP- BJP alliance” will provide a stable government in Maharashtra. In his reaction, Sharad Pawar said Ajit Pawar’s statement was false and aimed at creating confusion.

The BJP with 105 MLAs is the single-largest party in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly. The NCP has 54, Shiv Sena 56, and Congress 44 MLAs. Other parties and independents have a strength of 29. The halfway mark in the assembly is 144.