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  Metros   Mumbai  13 Nov 2019  Shiv Sena challenges governor’s move in apex court

Shiv Sena challenges governor’s move in apex court

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 13, 2019, 2:08 am IST
Updated : Nov 13, 2019, 2:08 am IST

Even after failing to muster the numbers to form the government in Maharashtra, Mr Thackeray continued to harbour hopes of a miracle.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
 Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray

New Delhi/Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday petitioned the Supreme Court challenging Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s “unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal” decision not to grant it three days’ time to produce letters from the NCP and the Congress in support of its claim to form the government even though he had given its erstwhile alliance partner, the BJP, two days to prove its numbers.

But on a day of fast moving events, even as the Shiv Sena moved the top court questioning the governor’s decision, Mr Koshyari had already recommended to the Centre that the state be placed under President’s rule. By evening the Centre brought Maharashtra under President’s rule, thereby overtaking Shiv Sena’s petition before the top court.

 

Senior lawyers engaged with the Shiv Sena matter are working on a petition to challenge the imposition of President’s rule in Maharashtra and the conduct of the governor in the entire exercise of government formation leading to President’s rule.

One of Shiv Sena’s lawyers, Nizam Pasha, said that they will request the court for an urgent hearing on Wednesday.

At a news briefing in Mumbai, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called the governor “most kindhearted” and mockingly added, “Government formation in Maharashtra is not child’s play. For this we needed a 48-hour deadline to prove our majority. Instead, the kind-hearted governor gave us six months for this”.

 

Even after failing to muster the numbers to form the government in Maharashtra, Mr Thackeray continued to harbour hopes of a miracle.

He said that the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress may have different ideologies but they “will find a way to work together”

“We will do the unthinkable,” he added, and said that the NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress will sit together and decide a “common minimum programme” before taking the next step.

Reaffirming the Sena’s commitment to Hindutva, Mr Thackeray pointed out that parties with different ideologies have forged alliances with the BJP in the past.

“I have sought details about how the BJP forged alliances with Mehbooba Mufti, Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu and Ram Vilas Paswan to decide how parties with different ideologies come together.” Taking a jibe at the BJP, Mr Thackeray said, “It will be helpful for me to understand on how to go ahead with the Congress and NCP”  

 

Political experts, however, have questioned Mr Thackeray’s political maturity as he took an extreme stand with the BJP and even asked his Union minister to resign without a concrete assurance from the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress and Sharad Pawar-led NCP.

According to sources, the Sena can approach the governor again claiming majority and try to convince him to allow them to prove their strength on the floor of the House even if President’s Rule is imposed in the state.

The Shiv Sena in its petition has described the governor’s action in denying it the opportunity to demonstrate majority support as “arbitrary, in hot haste and in complete violation of the law” laid down by the top court, which says that the majority support of a party can only be ascertained on the floor of the state Assembly.

 

Seeking direction to governor Koshyari to give it “reasonable time” to “prima facie” demonstrate that it has the “requisite support” to form the government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena’s petition says that “government formation is a “sacrosanct political process in democracy and governor cannot act as a stumbling block for thwarting/stalling a party from forming the government.”  

The petition, which has also challenged the governor’s actions as being violative of right to equality before law guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution, says, “As per constitutional conventions and practice, the governor is duty bound to allow reasonable time for political parties to conclude their negotiation on government formation and not to act as an agent/mouthpiece of the Central government and for the ruling party at the Centre.”

 

The Sena, with 56 seats, is the second-largest party after the BJP (105). If it comes together with the NCP (54) and the Congress (44), the three parties can easily reach the majority mark of 145 in the 288-member House.

Tags: bhagat singh koshyari, uddhav thackeray