Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Have numbers to form government in Maharashtra: Sena-NCP-Cong combine to SC

New Delhi, November 24: The Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong combine on Sunday told the Supreme Court that they have the majority in the Maharashtra Assembly and if Devendra Fadnavis has the numbers he should prove majority on floor of the House.
The combine also said that it was ‘betrayal and annihilation’ of democracy that government has been allowed to be formed when 41 NCP MLAs are not with the BJP.
“If Devendra Fadnavis has numbers to prove majority, let him prove it on the floor of House, else we have numbers to form government in Maharashtra,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the combine, submitted before a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, also appearing for the combine, submitted that 41 MLAs of NCP are with Sharad Pawar.
While 54 is the total strength of NCP, 41 MLAs wrote to the Maharashtra Governor saying Ajit Pawar has been removed as its leader, Singhvi told the bench.
Sibal said that November 30 deadline given by the Governor to the ruling party to prove majority is meant to do ‘something else’.
“It is a complete ‘betrayal and annihilation’ of democracy where government has been allowed to be formed when 41 NCP MLAs are not with them, ” they submitted.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for some BJP and independent MLAs, said the plea filed by the combine should have been filed in Bombay High Court.
The top court said none is disputing that floor test is best method to show majority.
Rohatgi said how can a political party approach apex court under Article 32 for violation of Fundamental Rights.
Singhvi refers to judgements in various cases including dismissal of Uttarakhand Cong govt, saying that floor test is ultimate test.
He also referred to 2018 apex court’s order in Karnataka case and said floor test was ordered and there was no secret ballot.
“Floor test is Constitutional obligation, no formality is needed and it can be ordered,” Singhvi told the bench. Rohatgi, appearing for the BJP and independent MLAs, opposed the NCP plea.
“They (three parties) were given time but they did not form government, so let Fadnavis prove majority as there was no tearing hurry, Rohatgi told the bench. (PTI)