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Maharashtra | Governor’s decision followed NCP’s letter

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress leaders (from left) K.C. Venugopal, Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge address a press conference in Mumbai.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress leaders (from left) K.C. Venugopal, Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge address a press conference in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

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Party had sought 48 hours to provide proof of numbers required to form government

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday morning sought an extension of the 24-hour deadline set by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to present proof of its ability to form the next government in the State. Mr. Koshyari had invited the party late on Monday.

A day after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government and present evidence of its ability to do so within 24 hours, show the willingness and ability to form the government, the party sought another 48 hours to provide adequate papers leading to governor on Tuesday morning.

However, the NCP’s letter seeking a 48-hour extension, led to the Governor’s Office recommending President’s Rule in the State, which was subsequently accepted by the Union Cabinet late in the afternoon.

NCP’s ally, the Congress, and the Shiv Sena, which has sought support from the party to form the government, were kept in dark about the letter submitted to the Governor.

Addressing a joint press conference with Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and K.C. Veugopal, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said there was no reason to inform the Congress and Shiv Sena about the request for extra time.

“We fought the election with the Congress. The Governor had asked the NCP to show our willingness and ability to form the government. I do not think it was necessary to inform others about asking for more time,” he said.

On formation of a government with the Shiv Sena, Mr Pawar said the two parties would discuss and evolve a consensus on what should be the policies and programmes if the Sena was to be supported.

The NCP maintained silence throughout the day about its demand which allegedly led the Governor’s Office to believe that the party would not be able to assemble the numbers. The Governor on Monday had also denied extra time to Shiv Sena delegation led by Aaditya Thackeray.

“We had only sought extra time. We had not expressed our inability to gather 145 MLAs to form the government. However the Governor chose to recommend President’s Rule. That’s his decision, but now we have got ample time to attain the required number,” said NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik.

Congress leader Ahmed Patel insisted no final decision could be taken without formulation of a common minimum programme by the three parties.

He also condemned the imposition of President’s rule and said the Congress was not given an opportunity to form government.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:23:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-governors-decision-followed-ncps-letter/article29955985.ece

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