Maharashtra politics: Won't let BJP take Maharashtra using unparliamentary means, says Sharad Pawar

Opposition bring 162 MLAs under one roof claiming majority in assembly

Updated - November 26, 2019 01:29 am IST

Published - November 25, 2019 10:49 pm IST - Mumbai

Number game: MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP posing together for a photo.

Number game: MLAs of Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP posing together for a photo.

Amid the intense political battle for Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Monday said he would not let the BJP capture his State through unparliamentary means.

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the timing of a floor test in the State Assembly, in a show of strength, the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP brought 162 MLAs together at a five-stat hotel in suburban Mumbai under the banner ‘Amhi 162’ (We are 162).

Addressing the assembled lawmakers, Mr Pawar said he would personally ensure that none of them loses membership for voting against the BJP during the floor test. He also clarified that Ajit Pawar has been removed from the post of legislative party leader.

“Once removed from the post by the party, the person cannot issue whip inside the assembly. So, if any newly elected members are fearing of disqualification then let me tell you that nothing will happen. If you fall in trouble, I will personally help you out,” he said.

‘No repeat of Goa’

“This is not Goa,” the NCP chief said, referring to the fact that the BJP grabbed power in that State without having a majority. “We will throw out those who have come to power illegally and we will form the government which is legal, democratic and constitutional. This is Maharashtra. We do not tolerate dishonest things. This State has power to counter it. We will not let BJP capture Maharashtra through unparliamentary means,” he said, adding that 162 out of 288 members of the State Assembly were in the hall and whenever the Supreme Court order comes, they will prove the majority.

Mentioning that his circle of friends is increasing, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the event of bringing 162 MLAs together was to show to the world that majority is with three parties.

“We are not greedy for power. We believe in Satyamev Jayte and not Sattamev Jayte. We have arrived on the scene to clear the road block and we are capable of doing that,” he said.

Warning the BJP without naming it, Mr. Thackreray said, “The more you try to break us, the closer three parties will come. Shiv Sena has strength to lighten the dark brains. You can try us. We are not here for five years only but in the multiples of five. This has begun from Maharashtra and those who are greedy for power will be buried here,” he said.

Rivals come together

Hugs, victory signs and selfies marked the event as MLAs of the three parties came together. The MLAs, once bitter rivals, were engaged in friendly conversations encouraged by NCP MP and Mr. Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule.

Rohit Pawar and Aaditya Thackeray, the next generation of both the families and first time MLAs, were seen together showing victory signs while Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was seen exchanging pleasantries with Ms. Sule and Congress MLA Nana Patole. While some MLAs were seen taking selfies, others asked party workers to click photos with MLAs from other parties.

Amid ‘Amhi 162’ posters and under a huge banner displaying a picture of the Constitution, all the MLAs and party leaders took a pledge to remain united, stay honest towards their parties and not to fall for any temptation. NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad administered the oath reminding the MLAs that all stand united to defeat Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar government.

As per the signed papers, the present MLAs include 58 Sena +9 independents, 52 of NCP, 42 of Congress, two of Samajwadi Party and one from Swabhimani Paksha. Two absent Congress MLAs were Prithviraj Chavan who is in Delhi to monitor ongoing Supreme Court case and Sunil Kedar, who was in Nagpur.

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