PM Modi, Amit Shah, J P Nadda met to take stock of Maharashtra after top court order
The decisions to give up the claim to form the government in Maharashtra and for Devendra Fadnavis to resign from the post of chief minister were taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union home minister Amit Shah and the working president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), JP Nadda on Tuesday, shortly after the Supreme Court’s order to conduct a floor test by Wednesday.
Soon after the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, where Prime Minister Modi also addressed the members, the trio met in the PM’s office in the Parliament to discuss the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision, people aware of the developments said.
A senior party functionary who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the party took the decision based on the “situation” that had arisen in court. “We took the decision after the Supreme Court order. Devendra Fadnavis resigned though he had the mandate along with the [Shiv] Sena,” the functionary said.
On Tuesday, the apex court ordered a floor test to determine the strength of the BJP-led Maharashtra government, after the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi — an alliance of Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party — moved court over the swearing in of Fadnavis as CM and Ajit Pawar of the NCP as deputy CM on Saturday. The alliance claimed that the BJP and faction of Ajit Pawar-led faction of NCP did not have the required numbers to form the government. In the recently concluded state polls, the BJP had won 105 seats, while its pre-poll ally, Shiv Sena, had won 56. The Congress and NCP had won 44 and 54 seats respectively, while smaller parties and Independents won 29 seats in the 288-seat assembly.
On November 22, the BJP approached Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari claiming it had the numbers. On what had transpired between the Ajit Pawar-led faction of NCP and the BJP and whether the party was blindsided by the developments, the functionary quoted above said, “…Anything is possible.”
The functionary also declined to comment on the Sena’s stance, and said, “…There are many things that cannot be divulged at the moment.”
The Sena-BJP alliance fell out over a disagreement over seat-sharing. The BJP asserted that as a senior partner of the alliance, it had the mandate to retain the CM’s post for five years and the Sena was responsible for walking out of a 30-year-old alliance. It defended its alliance with the NCP on grounds that it was a coalition of “anti Emergency forces”.
A second functionary who also spoke on condition of anonymity said the party will take stock of the developments, and meetings on the next move will be planned.