While Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress was given more than sufficient time to decide on forming a government, they still failed to do so. As a result, President’s rule had to be imposed in the state. However, after BJP and some MLAs from NCP came forward to form a government, the party trio showed their agitation with the decision and plead against the government formation in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court heard the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress’s combine plea against the Maharashtra government’s decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Minister of the State and said that it will pass an order at 10.30 Am on Tuesday. However, the trio pressed that the floor test is conducted today itself. However, the same was opposed by the sworn-in CM Devendra Fadnavis & Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. The case is being heard by a three-judge bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.
During the hearing, the Central Government’s Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted letters of the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and current Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the Supreme Court.
He said to the Court, “The Governor was well aware of the facts and the situation after polls results that had led to invoking of President’s rule in the State.” The centre also argued that the President’s rule was recommended in the state after being assured of the fact that no party was able to form a government in the state.
The Solicitor General argued that the letters had the endorsement of all 54 MLAs of NCP and that only after the consent of all the MLAs, Governor Koshyari invited Devendra Fadnavis to form a government.
In spite, the pleading trio of ShivSena-Congress-NCP has been arguing to hold a floor test on the new government formation.
What is a Floor Test?
A floor test is a motion, where the existing government seeks to know whether they still have the confidence of the legislature. In this process, the CM sworn-in Governor of the state is asked to prove his majority on the floor of the State’s legislative assembly. Thus, the CM has to move a vote of confidence and win a majority among the present MLAs. In case, the motion fails to pass and is unable to prove majority, then he/she has to resign. However, if he can prove the majority, then he can continue to hold the office.
Ajit Pawar represent 54 MLAs and himself
Mukul Rohatgi, a senior advocate who is representing the BJP and some independent MLAs said: “I met Ajit Pawar, he had the support of 54 NCP MLAs, so the governor asked him to form the government.”
Also, Ajit Pawar’s represents Senior advocate Maninder Singh said “Ajit represents the NCP and the support of 54 MLAs. Hence, he has been rightly invited by the Maharashtra Governor to form a government. “
Sena’s Sibal Argument
Kapil Sibal is representing the Shiv Sena in the matter. He put up his argument stating “Where was the national emergency to revoke the President’s rule at 5:27 AM and the Chief Minister being administered oath at 8 AM next morning?”
He further argued that it has never happened before in history saying, “The combine has affidavits of 154 Maharashtra MLAs supporting it, if the BJP has numbers, then they may be asked to prove their majority within 24 hours.”
On the other hand, Centre’s Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that “A particular time frame cannot be asked to be implemented on mere apprehension of a particular party.”
The need of the Hour
The Centre further argued in the Court that the Maharashtra Governor was not supposed to conduct the roving and fishing enquiry to ascertain which party has numbers to form a government. Question is can a party come, seek court’s intervention to hold floor test within 24 hours?
The BJP also argued that the Governor’s actions, of calling a party to form the government, are discretionary and are immune from judicial review.
Currently, the argument that remains is whether the Current CM holds the majority on the floor or not. However, it is for the Apex Court to decide as to whether the Floor test can be ordered within a particular time frame or not?
Is this real democracy?
In Maharashtra, the government had been formed after 11 days of President’s rule, which was imposed by the governor after the due deliberation of the situations. However, after BJP was able to gain the support of 54 NCP MLAs, the three parties suddenly felt the need to plead against the government formation. This is the same trio, who was unable to form a government even after a whole month of election results.
And now that two parties have allied to form the government with a majority, then they are asking to prove their majority within less than a week of their formation through a floor test. What kind of Democracy is this?
This comes after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was shown hopes of becoming a CM in an alliance government of Sena-Congress-NCP comprising of 154 MLAs. However, their dreams were shattered after the 54 NCP MLAs moved their support over-night on Friday-Saturday from Sena to BJP.
Does it mean that the general population, the voters, the citizens of the state have no say in the matter?
Looking at the situation of the politics, it is clear that these political leaders, no more represent their supporting voters, but are in a game of proving their power in the state and simply want to hold the majority to run their political agendas.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.