President's Rule imposed in Maharashtra after weeks-long drama
Bringing an end to the Maharashtra political impasse, President Ram Nath Kovind approved President's rule in the state on Tuesday. The latest development comes after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to Centre recommending President's Rule. Since the Maharashtra Assembly election results were declared on October 24, no political party has managed to form the government. Here are more details.
President Kovind signed-off on the Governor's recommendation in light of the impasse over government formation. A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson told ANI that the Governor felt President's rule was the best option for the state as it has been over 15 days since the electoral process concluded and yet, no political party is in the position to form a government.
After the imposition of President's rule, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Maharashtra's legislature is in suspended animation. Additionally, the MHA clarified, as per protocol, the directive will be valid only for six months. "The President's Rule can be withdrawn if any party can prove majority," the Ministry reportedly said in its statement.
The Union Cabinet had also recommended the President's rule on the report of the Governor invoking Article 356 of the Constitution in the state. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena plans to file a second petition in Supreme Court against President's rule in the state, party advocate Sunil Fernandes said. Shiv Sena had sought more time to establish claim to form the government, however, the Governor declined.
To recall, Shiv Sena MLA Aditya Thackeray along with senior party leaders met the Governor on Monday. However, the Shiv Sena had failed to procure the required letters of support from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress party. The Sena had then asked for an extension of time to prove its claim to form the government, but in vain.
Subsequently, the Governor invited the third-largest party, the NCP to form the government. Previously, the largest party in the Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP (105 seats), refused to stake claim to the government. The Sena won 56 seats, while the NCP has 54 seats.
Speaking to ANI about the Sena approaching SC, Maharashtra government's lawyer, Nishant Katneshwar, said, "Today I came to know about the filing of a petition by Shiv Sena." Katneshwar added, "I will have to receive a copy of the petition, then I will have to see the prayers, contents, grounds and thereafter appropriate steps will be taken."
The BJP-Sena alliance won majority in the Maharashtra elections and was set to form the government. However, the two parties got locked in a power tussle with the Sena pushing for a rotational CM policy- wherein BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and Sena's Aaditya Thackeray would share the CM seat for 2.5 years each. The alliance fell apart when BJP refused to agree to the policy.