Maharashtra politics live updates | Show of strength by non-BJP parties at Hotel Hyatt

Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress MLAs, party presidents take oath to remain united during the photo op at Hotel Hyatt on November 25, 2019.

Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress MLAs, party presidents take oath to remain united during the photo op at Hotel Hyatt on November 25, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choudhary

The Sena combine is seeking Supreme Court's intervention to conduct floor test within 24 hours.

Locked in a protracted power tussle with the BJP in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress decided to "parade" 162 MLAs in a Mumbai five-star hotel on November 25 evening in a show of united strength.

The move came hours after the leaders of the three parties submitted a letter to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari claiming that they have the requisite numbers to form government.

Which combine will win the floor test in Maharashtra Assembly? Who is legally the leader of NCP Legislature Party? Is the early morning swearing-in valid? The answers to some of these questions are still unknown as the Supreme Court reserved its order on the Maharashtra floor test issue for November 26.

 

It's been over a month after Assembly election results were declared in Maharashtra but the State is yet to see a stable government.

Here are the live updates:

Mumbai | 8.25 pm

BJP's Ashish Shelar reacts

Reacting to the event BJP's Ashish Shelar said, "We saw Aaditya Thackeray take oath in the name of Sonia Gandhi. Today we have seen how fraud is Shiv Sena's Hindutva."

Mr. Shelar also said, "Such a parade is done for criminals, not for legislators."

''We have full confidence in our numbers and will likely win the trust vote with a thumping majority under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar," says Mr. Shelar.

Mumbak | 7.45 pm

Show of strength at Mumbai hotel

Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress MLAs at Hotel Hyatt in Mumbai on November 25, 2019.

Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress MLAs at Hotel Hyatt in Mumbai on November 25, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Alok Deshpande

 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge are among those present during the show of strength aimed at making a public statement that the three parties hold the real mandate to govern the State.

Highlights from Sharad Pawar's speech:

"Ajit pawar went with the BJP against the party stand. The NCP has sacked him and has removed him from party post.

"He has no right to issue a whip to the party members. We have discussed with constitutional experts, retired officers and experts from Parliament. He has no right to issue a whip.

"If anything adverse happens, I will personally take the responsibility.

"We will throw out those who came to power illegally and will form the government which is legal, democratic and constitutional."

Highlights from Uddhav Thackarey's speech:

“We have arrived, clear the roadblock.

“We are capable of clearing the way...and if you [BJP] want to come inbetween then try it out once.

“We are ready to show you what Shiv Sena really is.”

MLAs take oath to be honest to alliance

The 162 MLAs took their oaths in the following format at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Mumbai:

"I [name of legislator] of [constituency] of [party] have contested the election and won. I swear upon the Constitution and take oath that I will stay true to the alliance formed by Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar's NCP and Sonia Gandhi's Congress and will not fall for any temptation. I will not do any act that helps the BJP. I will stay true to my constituency and my party, I will not break the trust and do anything against the party. I will obey party leaders."

Mumbai | 7.30 pm

Senior leaders arrive at venue

NCP chief Sharad pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge arrive at MLAs meeting.

"We are 162 is the theme of the program where 162 MLAs are present in a show of solidarity and an attempt to send message to BJP and Ajit Pawar."

All MLAs are likely to take pledge to stay united.

Mumbai | 7.00 pm

Vehicles carrying MLAs reach hotel

Vehicles carrying Shiv Sena, NCP MLAs reach Mumbai luxury hotel. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is at the venue.

A total of 162 MLAs from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are expected at the show of strength by non-BJP parties ahead of SC ruling.

Earlier, Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will “parade” 162 MLAs in a five-star hotel in Mumbai on November 25 evening as a proof of their combined strength in the 288-member Assembly.

Announcing the move on his tweeter handle, Mr. Raut appealed to State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to witness the “parading” of the legislators of the three parties.

“We are all one and together, watch our 162 together for the first time at grand Hyatt at 7 pm, come and watch yourself @maha_governor.”

Mumbai | 6.30 pm

Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule arrive

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule arrive at Hotel Hyatt before the grand photo op of all 162 MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP on November 25, 2019.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule arrive at Hotel Hyatt before the grand photo op of all 162 MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP on November 25, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choudhary

 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter Supriya Sule arrive at Hotel Hyatt where all the 162 MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP will be gathering together.

Mumbai | 5.15 pm

'Come and watch', Sanjay Raut tweets tagging Governor

The Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will “parade” 162 MLAs in a five-star hotel in Mumbai on November 25 evening as a proof of their combined strength in the 288-member Assembly, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

Announcing the move on his tweeter handle, Mr. Raut appealed to State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to witness the “parading” of the legislators of the three parties.

“We are all one and together, watch our 162 together for the first time at grand Hyatt at 7 pm, come and watch yourself @maha_governor.”

He tagged the official twitter handle @maha_governor of the Governor.

“The idea is to turn the public perception towards us. Once we parade 162 MLAs in one hall, entire nation will come to know that BJP is playing a dirty game in Maharashtra by misusing office of the Governor,” said an NCP leader.

The MLAs of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress are currently staying at different hotels in Mumbai. — PTI

 

Thane | 3.15 pm

Woman moves HC seeking direction to BJP, Sena to form government in Maharashtra

A woman voter from Maharashtra moved the Bombay High Court on Monday 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“.

Priya Chauhan (46), a resident of neighbouring Thane district, in her petition also sought a direction to the Centre and the State to refrain from appointing anyone as Chief Minister from the post-election alliances of the Sena-Congress-NCP, and BJP-Ajit Pawar.

The plea, filed through advocate Nitin Satpute, claims the petitioner is aggrieved by the BJP and Shiv Sena’s “betrayal”.

The plea has also sought an FIR to be lodged against the BJP and Shiv Sena for failing to form government, saying it amounts to breach of the trust of voters and cheating.

Read more
 

Satara | 3.00 pm

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

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he was not behind Ajit Pawar’s decision to align with the BJP and become the deputy chief minister and asserted that his party along with Congress and Shiv Sena will form the next government in Maharashtra.

“It is not the party’s decision and we do not endorse it,” Mr. Pawar said. “It is wrong to say that I have a hand behind Ajit Pawar’s revolt,” he added.

Read more

Mumbai | 2.30 pm

BJP leaders will turn crazy sans power: Raut

“The BJP leaders will go crazy if they are thrown out of power. They will lose their mental balance, as we are going to prove our majority during the floor test,” senior Shiv Sena leader Raut claimed.

“Once we form government, we will build a special hospital to treat the mental illness of BJP leaders,” he said.

He said the BJP acted like “Chambal dacoits” to form government in the state without having majority.

“The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will have at least 10 MLAs more than the BJP when the floor test will be done in the Assembly,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

Mumbai | 1.30 pm

Sena-NCP-Congress letter to Governor claiming majority ‘bogus’: BJP

BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Monday dubbed as “bogus” the letter submitted by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine to the Maharashtra governor to claim that they have the numbers to form government in the state.

“It is a bogus letter as technically Ajit Pawar is still the leader of the NCP’s legislature wing and he has extended support to the BJP,” Shelar told reporters here.

“The NCP has still not suspended Ajit Pawar from his post as leader of the party’s legislature wing and membership of the party. Hence, Ajit Pawar is still the leader of the NCP in the Assembly,” he said.

Shelar pointed out that the NCP has delegated Ajit Pawar’s powers to Jayant Patil, but it has not elected the latter as leader of the party in the Assembly.

Mumbai  | 1.00 pm

Shiv Sena MLAs

Shiv Sena MLAs aboard a bus to be shifted from The Lalit Hotel to Lemon Tree Premier Hotel amid the high political drama in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena MLAs aboard a bus to be shifted from The Lalit Hotel to Lemon Tree Premier Hotel amid the high political drama in Maharashtra.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

In a bid to keep the flock together, parties are moving their MLAs to resorts.

Shiv Sena has chosen Lemon Trell Hotel in Mumbai and a private resort.

Shiv Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde said they have given a letter of support of 162 MLAs of Sena, Congress, NCP to legislature secretary at Vidhan Bhavan.

Mumbai | 12.25 pm

We will try one last time to convince Ajit Pawar. If he comes back then we will be more than happy. If not, then we will take further decision, says Jayant Patil, when asked about Ajit Pawar's future in the party.

We were ready to parade all 162 MLAs in front of the Governor. He was not in town today, therefore we didn't bring them here.

Mumbai | 12.10 pm

When asked why the combine expressed interest when the Fadnavis government is yet to prove its majority in the House, NCP leader Jayant Patil says: "We fear that in case of Fadnavis not being able to prove majority, the assembly could be dissolved. But to avoid that we have already staked claim."

51 out of 54 NCP MLAs have given their signature in this letter. Ajit Pawar, Anna Bansode (Pimpri MLA), and Dharmarao Atram (Aheri MLA) names are not on the letter, Mr. Patil says.

Of the three, Dharmarao Atram is with us. He is unwell, so couldn't give his letter, Mr. Patil claims.

Mumbai | 12.00 noon

In Mumbai, the leaders of Sena combine are holding a press meet.

The newly elected leader of NCP legislature party, Jayant Patil says: "We have given the letter of support of 162 MLAs. Devendra Fadnavis had in the past expressed inability to form the government. Even today the government has no number.

We three [Sena, Congress and NCP] and all smaller parties have come together. We have 162 MLAs. We should be called to form the government. Present government staked claim on false documents.

Mr. Fadnavis will not be able to prove majority. There is also no reason to dissolve the Assembly. We have made our claim in time. We expect that the Governor will give us an opportunity" he adds.

Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde says: "Had they really had numbers with them, the government should have been sworn in during broad sunlight. It happened at night, which shows it was an act of cowardice. No rules of democracy were followed."

Lok Sabha | 11.30 am

Maharashtra issue echoes in Parliament

Congress members in Lok Sabha on Monday stormed the well carrying placards to protest the swearing-in of a BJP-led government in Maharashtra, leading to adjournment of House proceedings till noon.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said democracy has been murdered in Maharashtra.

Speaker Om Birla ordered the removal of two Congress members Hibi Eden and T N Prathapan- who were holding a big banner with ‘stop murder of democracy slogan - by marshals.

Intense protests by Congress members resisting their removal prompted the Speaker to adjourn the House till noon.

Rajya Sabha too was adjourned till 2 pm.

New Delhi | 11.35 am

'Does a single NCP MLA here say we will join the BJP alliance?'

Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for NCP and Congress ask, "Does a single NCP MLA here say we will join the BJP alliance? Is there a single covering letter saying this?"

This is a fraud on democracy, Mr. Singhvi argues. "What they have shown to Supreme Court  is the signatures of all 54 NCP MLAs electing Ajit Pawar as legislative party leader. They were not signed support for joining the BJP alliance to form the govt. The BJP has been too clever by half. This is sheer perjury."

It should shock your Lordships' conscience that somebody gets up in the SC and says "I am NCP."

The question now is how to conduct floor test and not why. Floor test should be held today or tomorrow, Mr. Singhvi says.

If BJP has majority, why is it worried? I am happy to lose on floor of Maharashtra Assembly, Mr. Singhvi says.

The Bench says it will deliver the verdict tomorrow.

New Delhi | 11.30 am

Kapil Sibal appearing for the Sena argues: "We have the original affidavits showing that Ajit Pawar was not authorised to represent the NCP. So hold the floor test. Let the oldest member of the House be made Protem Speaker. Let the floor test be video recorded. Let all be out in the open."

It is in the cover of the dark night that for some new opportunities come knocking. Let floor test be conducted in full light, he says.

New Delhi | 11.25 am

I am NCP, says Ajit Pawar

It's Ajit Pawar's tun now.  Advocate Maninder Singh pleads for him.  "I am NCP! I acted as the leader of the NCP legislative party on November 22. There was nothing then to show otherwise on that day. The Governor acted in his discretion."

Justice Khanna raises his eyebrows with an amused smile in reaction

Mumbai | 11.20 am

Ready to form government, says Sena combine

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress leaders jointly approached the Governor and staked claim to form the government in Maharashtra.

The letter bears the signature of Legislature Party leaders Jayant Patil, Eknath Shinde and Balasaheb Thorat.

"Devendra Fadnavis cannot prove majority in the House. We are already staking the claim as Devendra Fadnavis will not be able to prove majority. We are attaching the signed letter of all the MLAs giving ua support. The number is more than majority," the letter reads.

New Delhi | 11.10 am

Whether the CM enjoys majority support on floor of House has to be decided, says Supreme Court

Now, the question is can this court say whether floor test can be ordered within a particular time frame, Mr. Rohatgi asks.

In every case, everybody has agreed that a floor test has to be held within 24 hours. The majority is not decided in the Governor's house but on the floors of the House, The Bench says.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta seeks a couple of days time to reply.

New Delhi | 11.05 am

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for BJP and some independent MLAs refer to Maha Dy CM Ajit Pawar’s letter supporting Devendra Fadnavis.

I met Ajit Pawar, he had support of 54 NCP MLAs so governor asked him to form govt, Mr. Rohatgi pleading for BJP tells the court.

It’s nobody’s case that letters have been forged, Maharashtra Governor acted correctly so it is end of their case.

New Delhi | 11.00 am

SC gets letters from Governor, Ajit Pawar

Supreme Court peruses letters of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Dy CM Ajit Pawar with regard to staking claim for forming government.

Solicitor General refers to letter of Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, says it had endorsement of all 54 NCP MLAs.

Supreme Court also peruses Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s letter inviting Devendra Fadnavis to form government in State.

Solicitor General explains the Governor had invited Shiv Sena, BJP and NCP for govt formation, President’s rule was imposed only after they failed.

It is not the work of Governor ro conduct roving, fishing inquiry to ascertain which party has numbers to form govt, Centre tells SC

Question is can a party come, seek court’s intervention to hold floor test within 24 hours, the Solicitor General asks.

New Delhi | 10.50 am

SC commences hearing

A three-judge Supreme Court Bench assembles to hear Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’s plea against Maharashtra Governor’s decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as State Chief Minister.

The Bench says it is not considering prayer of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress that they be invited to form govt in Maharashtra.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for Centre submits letters of Maharashtra Governor and Mr. Fadnavis.

The Governor was cognizant of facts, situation after polls results that had led to invoking of President's rule in the State, the Centre says.

Mumbai | 10.40 am

Sena, NCP, Congress leaders to meet Maharashtra Governor

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said leaders of his party and the NCP and Congress will meet Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to present their side for government formation in the State.

“Leaders of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will meet the governor today to present our side for government formation. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will have at least 10 MLAs more than the BJP when the floor test will be done in the Assembly,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

New Delhi | 10.30 am

Congress to raise Maharashtra politics in Parliament

The Congress parliamentary strategy group, which includes Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and K C Venugopal, met at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence.

“We will seriously raise issue of Maharashtra. We will stall proceedings in both Houses. Government is killing democracy from Arunachal Pradesh to Goa, Karnataka and now Maharashtra. We have already discussed with like-minded parties,” Kodikunnil Suresh told reporters after the meeting.

Gurugram | 10.10 am

Four NCP MLAs ‘rescued’ from Gurugram hotel, flown back to Mumbai

The four NCP MLAs who were flown back to Mumbai

The four NCP MLAs who were flown back to Mumbai   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Four Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs from Maharashtra — Narhari Zhirwal, Daulat Daroda, Anil Patil and Nitin Pawar — were “rescued” by the party’s youth wing members from a five-star hotel in Gurugram in the early hours of Monday and flown back to Mumbai.

The four were “misled” and kept at the hotel by BJP workers “against their will”, claimed NCP youth wing national president Dheeraj Sharma.

Speaking to The Hindu over phone, Mr. Sharma claimed that local sources informed them about the presence of four legislators at The Oberoi in Gurugram and they were then “rescued” after a minor clash with the police and the BJP workers. — Ashok Kumar

Mumbai | 9.45 am

Those who ditched 25-year-old friend will also dump Ajit Pawar: Sena

The Shiv Sena on Monday launched a scathing attack on the BJP, saying 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.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ also targeted Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, saying his rebellion has failed and it will be proved in the next few days. Devendra Fadnavis took oath as chief minister like a “thief on the run”, it said in sarcastic remarks.

“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.

“Those who think power is above all, are in their last lap. The people of the state need to just wait for some time (to see it),” the Sena said.

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

“First they lost a friend like the Shiv Sena and now they are committing crime like a seasoned criminal,” the publication said in stinging remarks.

New Delhi | 9.15 am

Priyanka accuses BJP of disregarding Constitution in Maharashtra

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday accused the BJP of disregarding the Constitution in Maharashtra and repeating the “game” it played in Karnataka.

“Have we reached the stage of open kidnapping of the mandate?” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 11:37:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-politics-live-updates-bjp-ncp-congress-day-3-developments/article30074088.ece

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