TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 24, 2019, 23: 19 IST
MUMBAI: A day after NCP’s Ajit Pawar aligned with the BJP and took oath as deputy chief minister, top leaders of the BJP and the opposition Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP combine held a series of separate meetings to brace themselves for an impending floor test. For their parts, the BJP and the opposition combine have claimed that they have the requisite numbers and would win the floor test comfortably.
The Sena-Congress-NCP combine had moved the supreme court on Saturday demanding that the floor test be held within 24 hours.
However, the apex court on Sunday said it would deal with the matter on Monday.
Here are the top developments of the day:
Sharad Pawar versus Ajit Pawar on Twitter
Maharashtradeputy CM Ajit Pawar set the political circles abuzz with his statement on Twitter that he is still with the NCP and that Sharad Pawar continued to be his leader. Ajit Pawar also added that the BJP-NCP combine will provide stable government to the state. This evoked a sharp and quick reaction from Sharad Pawar who said, there is no question of forming an alliance with the BJP. “Ajit Pawar’s statement is false, misleading and aimed at creating confusion, false perception among people,” the senior Pawar responded on Twitter.
50 NCP MLAs with us, 4 with BJP may also return: Nawab Malik
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said on Sunday that 50 of its MLAs were with Sharad Pawar, while BJP had just four who are also likely return to the fold soon. “We have the support of 50 of our MLAs. them are not staying at the hotel. Only 4 MLAs are with the BJP and we are hopeful they will come back with us, “NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters here. Malik added that the NCP was hoping for Ajit Pawar’s return to the party’s fold to accept Sharad Pawar’s decision.
Fadnavis govt has support of 175 MLAs, it will increase: MLA Ravi Rana
Yuva Swabhiman Party MLA, Ravi Rana who pledged support to the BJP has claimed that the Fadnavis government has the support of 175 MLAs. “MLAs will be more than 175, it will increase even more due to what is happening in Shiv Sena, “he told reporters here when asked about the number of MLAs who are supporting the Fadnavis government. Rana also congratulated Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and said: “I congratulated him, it took time but the state now has good chief minister and deputy chief minister.”
NCP’s Dhananjay Munde pledges support to Sharad Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Dhananjay Munde, who is considered a close aide of Ajit Pawar, pledged his allegiance to party chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday. “I am with party, I am with Pawar saheb. Please don’t spread rumors,” Munde tweeted. Munde is believed to have played a key role in aiding Ajit Pawar to break away from the NCP and support BJP to become the deputy chief minister. Munde avoided the media limelight for most of Saturday when Ajit Pawar took oath as Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis’ deputy. But he dramatically appeared to attend an NCP meeting called by Sharad Pawar on Saturday.
SC asks Center to place letters of Guv & Fadnavis
In a special hearing on a Sunday, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Center, Maharashtra government, Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar on the petition filed on Saturday night by the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) -Congress combine against the Governor’s decision to swear in the BJP leader as the chief minister. A bench of Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna, rejected the plea by the Sena-Congress-NCP combine to direct the Fadnavis government to undertake the floor test within 24 hours, saying this issue would be dealt with only after perusing the two letters. According to BJP leader Ashish Shelar, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has given time till November 30 to the new government to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
During the 30 – minute hearing that began at 11. 30 am in a packed court room, the apex court said the plea of the post-poll alliance, ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, seeking a direction to the Governor to invite them to form government under the leadership of Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray would not be considered for the present.
BJP holds meeting of MLAs
BJP legislative party met here on Sunday to discuss and decide a strategy to comfortably pass the majority test in the Maharashtra Assembly.
Chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the meeting saw the presence of 99 out of 105 party MLAs.
After the meeting, BJP leader Ashish Shelar said leaders chalked out a strategy to pass the floor test in the 288 – member Assembly.
Uddhav addresses Shiv Sena MLAs
In his intercations with the MLAs of his party at Hotel Lalit near the Mumbai international airport, Thackeray asked them to “cautious”. “Spread out so that you can keep a watch on who is around you,” he told the MLAs.
Uddhav, Sharad Pawar meet NCP MLAs
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday met at a suburban resort where the NCP legislators have been been staying.
The Sena was helping the NCP and Congress to keep their flock together, they said. The Shiv Sena’s trade unions have a robust presence in several of the city’s top hotels.
NCP MLAs allege Ajit Pawar offering them ministerial posts
According to sources in NCP, Sharad Pawar asked party legislators lodged in a city hotel whether they are facing any problem in the emerging political situation in the state. To this, some of the MLAs said that they were getting calls from deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar offering ministerial posts to them.
“Do not worry. This relationship will go long. Our alliance will go a long way,” sources quoted Uddhav Thackeray, who was accompanying Pawar, as telling the MLAs.
Congress leaders meet party MLAs
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge held a string of meetings with Maharashtra Congress leaders and MLAs throughout the day. Congress MLAs are staying at JW Marriott hotel in Juhu. According to sources, Patel and Kharge coordinated with the legal team of senior Congress leaders-cum-lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Delhi.
Ajit Pawar goes to meet CM Fadnavis late in the evening
Around 10 pm, Ajit Pawar left his house in the Churchgate area and drove down to the house of CM Devendra Fadnavis. He was seen leaving about 40 minutes later. He did not speak to the media present outside the house, and it was not immediately known what transpired in the meeting.
(With agency inputs)
more from times of india news