Mumbai: The union cabinet Tuesday cleared the imposition of President’s Rule in Maharashtra, about five hours before the expiry of the Governor’s deadline given to Sharad Pawar’s NCP to prove its ability to form government.

This came after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari sent a report to the President on the political situation in Maharashtra.



BJP sources claimed that the Governor’s move to recommend President’s Rule came because the NCP wrote to Koshiyari asking for more time to secure its numbers. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik refused to comment.

The imposition of President’s Rule in Maharashtra may not have any direct bearing on the consultation of the opposition parties over government formation. If the three parties reach an agreement, they can go to the Governor with the letters of support from the MLAs and stake claim. If these parties fail to reach a consensus, the BJP could re-open its talks with the Shiv Sena, which seems to have been left high and dry due to the Congress’ diffidence to join hands with its political and ideological adversary.

There are apprehensions in the opposition camp that the President’s Rule might open scope for defections and horse-trading.

The Shiv Sena also moved Supreme Court Tuesday against the Governor’s refusal to give it more time to prove its ability to form government.

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi criticised the Maharashtra Governor for not giving enough time to the Shiv Sena.

Governor of Maharashtra cannot give 48 hours to #ShivaSena for #MaharashtraGovtFormation but BJP can avail 5 weeks in other states is an arbitrary use of power by the Governor. This is what happens when constitutional posts are used to further political motivations.

Late Monday, the NCP was invited by Koshiyari to form government after the Shiv Sena was unable to rack up the numbers and its request for a 48-hour extension was rejected. The Shiv Sena faltered as the Congress dithered on its support.

Tuesday began with a phone call between Pawar and interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, following which three senior Congress leaders left for Mumbai to hold consultations with NCP leadership to explore the possibility of forming the government in coalition with the Shiv Sena.

The three parties together have a comfortable majority with 154 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.

“Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi spoke to Shri.Sharad Pawar today morning and deputed Shri.Ahamed Patel, Shri.Mallikarjun Kharge and myself for holding further discussions with Shri.Pawar,” Venugopal tweeted earlier in the day.

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Nothing is lost irretrievably. Three sets of letters, aggregating to 154 MLAs, could be presented to His Excellency, who would be constitutionally bound to issue the warrant of appointment and ask for majority support to be established on the floor of the Assembly. However, the constructive takeaway, especially for the Congress, is : Don’t allow a deciduous forest to grow beneath your feet while considering your options.

Yes they can and probably will, but with pone significant change. Till 7.30 p.m. yesterday, Shiv Sena was in the driver’s seat being the recipient of the Governor’s invitation to form government. Now no more; all three parties are on the even keel. All three can lodge a claim to the CMs post. If the Sena has got 60 odd seats, the NCP-Congress alliance has got 105 seats. Why should they forgo the claim to the CM’s post? Let the negotiations begin and Shiv Sena will face own music. Sharad Pawar is a hard bargainer, so is Sonia Gandhi. Perhaps Uddhav will feel that he has committed a huge blunder by prematurely exiting the Yuti with BJP. An assured and stable Dy.CM post was better than an uncertain CM Post.

There are NCP and Shiv Sena workers dying to grab power. Then there are NCP Sonia fans exasperated why power is NOT being grabbed and BJP ousted.

Congress would do itself a huge favour by not backing Shiv Sena. Their gesture won’t go unnoticed and could lead to long term gains.

The newly elected congress MLAs want their party to support Shiv Sena. The unelected Delhi leadership’s problem is, how to overrule wishes of its elected MLAs. The same more of less applies to the NCP MLAs.

Correct, and in line with what one Gopal Vaidya had commented on another article. It will test the influence of grassroots on high command and to what extent they are at ease with devolution of decision making. However, I still feel that Congress, which hasn’t lost its pan-India appeal, and espoused liberal and secular values should NOT lend support to Shiv Sena, a party that has a poor record on communal harmony and rights of legitimate migrant workers (Biharis etc.).

Sena and all the parties had full 18 days to form a government. Sanjay Raut so proudly claimed to have support of 175 MLAs. But Sena couldn’t show any proof. Still opposition parties are claiming that the Governor hasn’t given them enough time?

These power hungry monsters are blinded by their jealousy of BJP that they are willing to swallow their pride. Look and hear all those abuses that Sena heaped on Sonia a few years back. Why did Sharad Pawar come out of Congress in the first place?

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Maharashtra politics has turned out to be a zero sum game. And the party which got minus in this is Sena. There hasn’t been a bigger fool than Uddhav. He has egg on his face.

A bhakt talking about opportunists and hunger for power at any cost, irony couldn’t have been more apparent!

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