Minutes after the Centre imposed President’s rule in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said it will approach the Supreme Court over Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari rejecting its request to give it some more time to prove its ability to form the government and passing on the invitation to Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party.
The Sena alleged that the move “violated principles of natural justice”. It also said that senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal will present party’s case in the top court.
“We have moved the Supreme Court today after our request of time extension was rejected by the Governor. We had sought three days’ time but it was declined. The BJP, which did not stake claim, was given 48 hours, while we were given 24 hours. We staked claim and sought time so that we can gather letters of support from the other parties. The move is against the principles of natural justice. I have spoken to Kapil Sibal, he will represent us in the matter,” said Anil Parab, Shiv Sena MLC.
The Shiv Sena, which pulled out its lone MP Arvind Swant from the Union Cabinet yesterday, had hoped to form a government with support from the NCP and the Congress. Sena scion Aadtiya Thackeray went to the governor with a request to give the party an extension over its 24-hour deadline set earlier but the request was denied.
In comparison, Sena leaders point that the governor had given the BJP, the single largest party, three days to indicate its willingness to stake claim and prove its numbers.
Aaditya Thackeray, who became the face of Sena’s effort to stake claim, had yesterday argued that his party had told the governor that his party was willing to stake claim but its two mint-fresh potential allies needed time to complete the formalities for extending support.
A senior Congress leader told HT that Sonia Gandhi had conveyed to the NCP boss Sharad Pawar that her party was in principle on board with the move. But a formal communication wasn’t issued because of an assessment that the two parties should not rush into the alliance with the Sena without thinking through the details of the arrangement and the ground rules.
The Congress leader cited above declined to detail the points on which the Congress and NCP were looking for more clarity.
But he did indicate that the Sena’s two potential partners did not favour the practice of the governor setting 24-hour deadlines for political parties, “not after waiting for a fortnight without saying a word” while the two pre-poll allies, BJP and Sena, who had secured 105 and 56 seats respectively, worked out their differences.