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  India   All India  24 Nov 2019  Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in perfectly legal: Experts

Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in perfectly legal: Experts

THE ASIAN AGE. | KALPESH MHAMUNKAR
Published : Nov 24, 2019, 6:12 am IST
Updated : Nov 24, 2019, 6:15 am IST

Former advocate general Shreehari Aney also said that Ajit Pawar was well within his powers to issue the NCP MLAs’ letter of support.

Newly-sworn in chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, with his deputy Ajit Pawar at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)
 Newly-sworn in chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, with his deputy Ajit Pawar at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Constitutional experts said on Friday that the manner in which Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively couldn’t be termed illegal, citing the governor’s discretionary powers. They also stated that a governor could accept a letter from any party staking claim to form the government and that everything would boil down to the floor test where Mr Fadnavis will have to prove his majority on November 30.

Since the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has removed Ajit Pawar from the post of legislative party leader, he will have to accept the whip issued by his successor Jayant Patil.

 

Commenting on the government formation drama, constitutional expert Anant Kalse, former principal secretary of Vidhan Sabha, termed the overnight government formation exercise “justified”. “The governor possesses discretionary powers. He can take decisions regarding when to accept the claim made by any party and the oath-taking ceremony. The governor can withdraw President’s Rule, accept the letter of support handed over by Ajit Pawar and conduct the oath-taking ceremony,” said Mr Kalse. He added that no one could challenge these procedures in court because the Assembly and court are both constitutional bodies and “normally the court doesn’t interfere in the Assembly’s functioning.”

 

Former advocate general Shreehari Aney also said that Ajit Pawar was well within his powers to issue the NCP MLAs’ letter of support. He said, “Even though Ajit Pawar is the NCP’s legislative party leader, he can support and submit the letter of his MLAs to the governor. No law prohibits him from doing this.” Ulhas Bapat, a constitutional expert, surmised that Ajit Pawar, as the leader of the NCP in the state Assembly, must have had a list of all MLAs along with the signatures of the elected members of his party. .

While commenting on the position of governor, he added, “Generally, governors don’t wish to hurt the Prime Minister. This has been happening since Indira Gandhi’s regime.”

 

Tags: devendra fadnavis, ajit pawar
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)