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Home Latest News Maharashtra floor test tomorrow, voting to be telecast live, says SC

Maharashtra floor test tomorrow, voting to be telecast live, says SC

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will have to prove his majority in the Assembly by 5 pm on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered today. The court’s ruling comes after the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and BJP — which have worked out a coalition that aspires to rule the state — challenged the Maharashtra Governor’s surprise move to invite the BJP to form the government.

“In a situation wherein, if the floor test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so,” the court said.

The Supreme Court has said that the floor test will be telecast live, and the proceedings will be presided by an interim speaker to be appointed by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Voting will not be done by secret ballot, the judges said.

In a stunning early morning development on Saturday, Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister and NCP’s Ajit Pawar as his deputy. The new alliance questioned how a government order was put out at 5.47 am revoking President’s Rule in the state to facilitate the 7.50 am swearing in. They then called for an immediate floor test, alleging attempts by the BJP to buy the support of MLAs.

The centre in its argument claimed that Governor Koshyari had invited Devendra Fadnavis to form the government based on a letter showing the support of 170 MLAs, including all 54 of the NCP, and independents.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was appearing for the Congress as well as the NCP had termed the invitation by the Governor Koshiyari as a “fraud on democracy”.

“How can the Governor rely on signatures of MLAs without a covering letter,” Singhvi asked.

The NCP accused Ajit Pawar of using the NCP letter of support with signatures of MLAs for the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance to ally with the BJP.

The NCP has been saying that all its MLAs are intact except for Ajit Pawar — party chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew and former legislature party leader — who promised support to the BJP paving way for the early morning oath ceremony.

The BJP, which has 105 of its own, needs 40 more MLAs to prove a majority in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.


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