More time for political manoeuvring to form Govt, feel parties, but Congress, NCP cry foul over Guv’s haste; Sena to move SC
Maharashtra was on Tuesday placed under President’s Rule, which came as a major relief to all the four stakeholders who now have enough time to outdo each other in the race for Government formation in the State. The Shiv Sena and the NCP admitted this and said they were not in a hurry, while the Congress maintained it will talk to Uddhav’s party after discussing threadbare with Sharad Pawar’s entity to reach a common ground.
Following the Centre’s move, the Shiv Sena said it is readying a petition to challenge the President’s Rule decision in the Supreme Court. A final call will be taken on Wednesday, Shiv Sena’s advocate said. The SC may hear the petition challenging the Governor’s decision on Wednesday.
Except for the BJP, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress all have cried foul over the Governor’s role. “The way President’s Rule was recommended, I condemn it. This Government has violated the SC guidelines on President’s Rule on several occasions in the last 5 years,” Ahmed Patel said.
Sena suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-BJP Government in Maharashtra with the Congress at the last moment announcing its decision to hold more talks with ally NCP on supporting the Shiv Sena.
Interestingly, while the BJP, which had given up its claim, appeared once again on the scene to assert it was back in the contention, the Sena still showed signs of willingness to go with its longtime NDA ally if the BJP gave it what it wanted — the Chief Ministership for two and half years.
“We have six months, we will sit down with the Congress and NCP,” Uddhav told reporters after a meeting with his MLAs.
In a Press conference with Congress leaders, Pawar said they were in no hurry and will take a decision after holding further talks with the Congress. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel maintained his party will hold talks with the Sena only after its talks with the NCP culminate. But then, BJP leader Narain Rane came out to say that his party will try to form a Government and that former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is putting in all efforts in this direction.
Patel along with KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge was dispatched by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to hold talks with Pawar to thrash out all niggling issues that could make or mar the prospective alliance with an ideologically opposite party.
The political manoeuvring continued till late evening. Earlier, the Centre imposed President’s Rule after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari recommended it five hours before the expiry of the 8.30 pm deadline given to the NCP to express its willingness to form the Government. The Union Cabinet subsequently met and approved the recommendation before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure to Brazil for the BRICS Summit.
The Shiv Sena moved the SC challenging the Governor’s decision to not grant it more time for the Government formation exercise.
Sena has sought a direction from the apex court to quash the Governor’s decision of not giving it the opportunity to prove majority on the floor of the House. The party claimed it was invited to form the Government on Monday and had indicated willingness to do so on Tuesday. The Governor’s decision is unconstitutional, discriminatory, unreasonable, capricious and mala fide, the party said in the plea, adding that “the Governor can’t act in a manner to only suit the majority political party” at the Centre or act on the Central Government’s “diktats”.
President Ram Nath Kovind signed the proclamation imposing President’s Rule in Maharashtra under Article 356(1) and the Assembly has been kept in suspended animation. Governor BS Koshiyari made his recommendation on the ground that “a situation has arisen that a stable Government is not possible even after 15 days of election results being declared”.
Wednesday, 13 November 2019 | PNS | New Delhi/Mumbai
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