The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the Maharashtra floor test on November 27 (Wednesday) after the oath-taking ceremony of the MLAs is completed by 5 pm. The order comes on a joint petition filed by Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) against the decision of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in the state.
As per the process at first Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will administer an oath to the pro-tem speaker. The pro-tem speaker will then administer an oath to the remaining 287 MLAs in Maharashtra Assembly. This will be followed by a one-line whip about the floor test and then the voting will take place. There will be no secret ballot and the entire process has to be completed before November 27, 5 pm. The entire proceeding will be telecast live as per the Supreme Court order.
Earlier on Monday, the SC reserved had the order after a bench of Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan, and Sanjiv Khanna heard the arguments put forth by counsels appearing for the Governor, Maharashtra BJP and other parties. The petitions were filed after BJP's Devendra Fadnavis took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister, with NCP's Ajit Pawar as his deputy on Saturday morning.
Maharashtra's political drama took a new twist on Monday evening as Sena-NCP-Congress combine put up a massive show of strength at a Mumbai hotel with their 162 MLAs. The newly-elected MLAs of the three parties pledged jointly in the presence of their senior party leaders that they would not get "lured" and "will not do anything that would benefit the BJP. The NCP MLAs are already staying in the hotel, in a bid to show their strength.
In a media spectacle at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt hotel, the MLAs took the oath in the presence of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. Several other senior leaders of the three parties, too, were present during the power projection aimed at puncturing the BJP's claim of enjoying a majority in Maharashtra Assembly. The MLAs of the three parties thronged the Grand Hyatt hotel where senior leaders of all three parties claimed the support of 162 MLAs.
Taking the pledge, the MLAs said, "I swear that under the leadership of Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray and Sonia Gandhi, I will be honest with my party. I won't get lured by anything. I will not do anything which will benefit BJP."
Sharad Pawar slammed rebel NCP leader Ajit Pawar and warned the BJP against grabbing power as it did in Goa and Karnataka, while Uddhav Thackeray said the fight was not for power but for ‘Satyameva Jayate’.