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 ...