Sena, NCP, Congress stake claim to form govt with support of 160 MLAs

In a pre-emptive move to avoid another spell of President’s Rule, the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress’ ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ on Monday morning staked its claim to form the government in Maharashtra, a party office-bearer said.

“Delegations of the three parties with their respective leaders, went to Raj Bhavan to register the claim to form the government in the future as the present government in the state is definitely going to fall,” NCP National Spokesperson Nawab Malik told IANS.

Congress state spokesperson added that the state must not get President’s Rule again and the Maha Vikas Aghadi should be given the chance to form the government.

The alliance’s letter in Marathi, which mentions it was submitted at 10.20 a.m., said: “On 23/11/2019, Devendra Fadnavis took the oath as Chief Minister. But, earlier, he had expressed inability to form the government as he did not have sufficient strength. However, he will be required to prove his majority even now.”

“Presently, he does not have sufficient numbers and will not be in a position to prove his majority. In such an eventuality, we are staking our claim to form the government,” the letter added.

Stating that they had submitted a list of the supporting legislators of all the three parties, the letter urged the Governor to immediately take steps to invite them to form the government as they have adequate strength.

Malik added that the delegation have submitted the letter along with a list bearing the signatures of a total 160 MLAs from the three parties to the Governor’s office.

The letter was signed by Shiv Sena Legislature Party leader Eknath Shinde, NCP Legislature Party leader Jayant Patil and Congress state President Balasaheb Thorat.

Interestingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party has also claimed the support of over 170 MLAs on their side including its own 105, besides others from the NCP, independents and smaller parties.

Monday’s move came shortly before the Supreme Court hearing on a plea filed by the three parties on the circumstances leading to the swearing-in of BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister early on Saturday by Governor B.S. Koshyari.