With no new govt. in sight, Maharashtra Assembly to be in ‘suspended animation’

There is no specified period for which Assembly can be put in suspended animation.

Updated - November 28, 2021 11:15 am IST

Published - November 09, 2019 06:56 pm IST - Mumbai

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. File

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. File

With the political impasse in Maharashtra continuing, the newly-elected 14th Legislative Assembly of the state would remain in “suspended animation” until the Governor summons it, a legislature expert said on Saturday.

The term of the 13th Assembly is set to end on Saturday midnight, but no indication has emerged from bickering allies BJP and Shiv Sena that they were ready to form the new government.

Sources said that Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan on Saturday.


Mr. Koshyari had met the AG earlier this week too.

The State is witnessing a deadlock as the BJP and Sena , who together won enough seats in the October 21 state elections to come to power, are locked in a bitter tussle over the chief minister’s post.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray , who met the media on Saturday to give his reaction on the Ayodhya verdict, sidestepped a question about government formation.

“That will happen. Don’t worry. Today is a joyous day” he said, welcoming the SC judgment.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Chief Minister on Friday . Mr. Koshyari accepted the resignation and asked him to continue as caretaker Chief Minister.

“Till the governor does not summon the new assembly, the 14th Assembly, which has been constituted, will remain in suspended animation,” Anant Kalse, former principal secretary of the Maharashtra Legislature, told PTI .

There is no specified period for which Assembly can be put in suspended animation, he added.


As long as the Governor does not summon the first sitting of the new House, it will be “on hold”, said Mr. Kalse.

The newly-elected MLAs will, nevertheless, get their salaries and other perks during the period, he added.

Mr. Kalse also noted that this is the first time in the state’s history that the single largest party — which is the BJP — has not staked claim to form the next government, nor has the governor invited it to do so.

“Fifteen days have passed since the assembly election results. If the single largest party does not stake claim, it is upto the governor to invite it, and if that party refuses then he can explore options of the second-largest or third- largest party,” Mr. Kalse said.

“President’s rule is the last option,” he added.


Also, the Governor cannot summon the new Assembly without the cabinet’s recommendation, and at present there is no cabinet in the state, the former bureaucrat added.

The BJP won 105 and Shiv Sena 56 seats in the 288- member House, securing a comfortable majority as an alliance.

Congress and NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively.

They have said the ball is in the Governor’s court, with NCP chief Sharad Pawar reiterating on Saturday that the mandate for them was to sit in the opposition.

“BJP is not staking claim since it doesn’t have the numbers to get its Speaker elected in the first session, which will have to be called for administering oath to the newly- elected members. The new government will also have to face a trust vote,” state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said.


The three-decade-old alliance between the BJP and its oldest ally Shiv Sena appeared to be on shaky ground on Friday as Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had a bitter showdown over sharing the chief minister’s post.

Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told PTI that Sarkaria commission’s report lists the steps the governor is supposed to take in such a situation.

“The first priority (for government formation) is given to the largest pre-poll alliance. In this case, it is the BJP and Shiv Sena. But the alliance has (virtually) broken down yesterday,” Chavan said.

“Then the single largest party (gets the opportunity) provided it stakes the claim. The BJP has not staked the claim. So now a post-poll alliance can stake claim.

“But Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have to come together and submit a letter to the governor about the numbers they have,” he added.

“The governor does not invite any political party or alliance on his own,” Mr. Chavan said.

Many state Congress leaders including Chavan had said earlier that most of the party MLAs were not averse to backing a Sena-led government to keep the BJP out.

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