BJP will get befitting reply in Maharashtra assembly floor test: Congress after SC hearing

The SC will give its order on Tuesday, the apex court said while hearing the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine's plea against the governor's decision to swear in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister.

Published: 25th November 2019 12:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2019 03:51 PM   |  A+A-

Randeep Surjewala and Prithviraj Chavan at Supreme court in New Delhi

Randeep Surjewala and Prithviraj Chavan at Supreme court in New Delhi on Monday.(Photo | Arun Kumar, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday said its alliance with the NCP and the Shiv Sena had the support of 154 MLAs and the BJP will get a "befitting reply" in the Maharashtra Assembly floor test.

The assertion came minutes after the Supreme Court said it will give its order on the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine's plea against the Maharashtra governor's decision to swear-in Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister.

Asserting that democracy was "murdered" in Maharashtra and the Constitution "trampled upon", Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said an "illegitimate government" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Ajit Pawar was formed.

In a dramatic development, BJP's Fadnavis took oath as chief minister and Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was sworn-in as his deputy on Saturday morning.

The move jolted the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena, who were giving final touches to government formation in the state, but rattled the NCP the most due to Ajit Pawar's rebellion.

"We requested the Supreme Court that a floor test be ordered immediately so that it is proven that the majority is with the alliance formed for Maharashtra's development -- Congress-Sena-NCP.

We showed the affidavits of 154 MLAs that clearly prove that the alliance has the majority," Surjewala told reporters.

He said the combine had the support of 48 NCP MLAs, 56 Sena MLAs, 44 lawmakers of the Congress and some independents, while asserting that the number of those supporting the alliance will go up when other "MLAs are freed from BJP's jail".

"The Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine believes that the people's mandate and democracy will win in Maharashtra.

The BJP, Ajit Pawar and all such forces that have trampled upon democracy, kidnapped the mandate and insulted constitutional institutions will get a befitting reply in the floor test, when Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will be shown the door by MLAs for not having majority," he said.

"We believe that the process will begin on Tuesday," Surjewala, flanked by senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan and Mukul Wasnik, said.

Chavan said some NCP MLAs had signed at "two places", but the first signatures were taken without permission.

"Now they have given individual affidavits.

There is no way but to go for a floor test.

The only thing is that we want it in 24 hours and that the procedure followed in Karnataka and Uttarakhand should apply here as well," he said.

"Why do they need time? Will horse-trading be allowed? We request the Supreme Court to order a floor test immediately.

We hope that the court will give its verdict and a floor test will be ordered on Tuesday itself after the oaths of MLAs," the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

The Supreme Court will decide in light of laws and the Constitution whether the process of floor test be conducted by a pro-tem speaker or not.

"We have kept our view that be it in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka or any other state, when such a situation arises, a pro-tem speaker presides over a vote of confidence," Chavan said.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs, followed by the Sena (56 MLAs), the NCP (54 MLAs) and the Congress (44 MLAs).

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