Maharashtra: BJP summons MLAs; Fadnavis to address media in afternoon
After the Supreme Court ordered a floor test to be held in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party called all of its MLAs for a meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP alliance has claimed that the four-day BJP government, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, does not hold a majority in the Assembly. Here are more details.
We will prove our majority, says BJP leader before meeting
The BJP meeting will be held at the Garware Club, Wankhede Stadium, at 9 pm and all 105 party legislators have been summoned. Speaking after the apex court's verdict, BJP leader Rao Saheb Danve said, "We will prove our majority. Tonight at 9 pm, all BJP MLAs will meet at Garware Club in Mumbai." Fadnavis will also address a press conference at 3:30 pm.
SC ordered floor test by 5 pm tomorrow
On Tuesday, the SC delivered its verdict on a petition filed by the Sena-Congress-NCP against the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's "arbitrary and malafide actions" for "installing a minority BJP government." The court ordered a floor test by 5pm on November 27, ruling that the senior-most MLA of the House will be appointed Pro-tem speaker for the sole purpose of conducting the floor test.
We can prove majority in 30 minutes: Sena
Separately, Sena-Congress-NCP hailed the SC verdict as they remain confident about their majority in the Maharashtra Assembly. Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, "Truth has won. The court has given 30 hours. We can prove majority in 30 minutes." Meanwhile, NCP's Nawab Malik said BJP's "game is over," while Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said, "The reality of BJP's claim will be exposed tomorrow."
In show of strength, Sena-Congress-NCP displayed support of 162 MLAs
Notably, on Tuesday, the 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi' alliance—which includes the three parties along with other smaller parties—staged a show of strength at an event titled 'Amhi 162' (We are 162) at Hotel Grand Hyatt. At the event, 162 MLAs pledged support to the alliance, and vowed to not be lured by BJP. With 162 MLAs, the alliance is well above the 145 majority mark.
Majority isn't proven in hotels: Ram Madhav
However, BJP leader Ram Madhav, said, "Majority has to be proven not in hotels or elsewhere but on the floor of the House. We are confident that on the floor of the house our govt will be able to prove its majority."
BJP core committee assembled at Fadnavis's residence; Ajit Pawar present
Ahead of tonight's meeting, the BJP held a core committee meeting at Fadnavis's residence shortly after the SC verdict. Former Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who betrayed the NCP to join hands with the BJP, was present at the meet, along with BJP MLA Haribhau Bagade, the Speaker of the previous Maharashtra Assembly. Incidentally, the Speaker holds the post until a successor takes charge.
Sena-Congress-NCP joint meeting at 5 pm
Separately, a meeting of Congress MLAs is underway at the JW Marriott Hotel. Balasaheb Thorat has been elected Congress Legislative Party leader. The Sena also briefed party MLAs at Hotel Lemon Tree, while the NCP held a meeting of senior leaders at the Sofitel Hotel, where Sena's Raut is also present. Sena-Congress-NCP will hold a joint meeting at 5 pm on Tuesday.