Have support of all 54 NCP MLAs to form govt: Centre

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. (PTI Photo)

Maintaining that the BJP had the support of all 54 NCP MLAs to form a government in Maharashtra, the Centre on Monday asked the Supreme Court for two to three days to file a reply to the plea against the governor's decision to invite Devendra Fadnavis to become chief minister.

The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP has filed a plea against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari's decision to swear in BJP leader Fadnavis as chief minister and NCP's Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister.

The Centre told a bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna that the governor had in absolute discretion invited the largest party to form government on November 23.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court the Maharashtra governor is not supposed to conduct a roving and fishing inquiry to ascertain which party has numbers to form government.

The question is, he said, can a party come and seek the court's intervention to hold floor test within 24 hours.

Mehta said the governor was cognizant of the facts and the situation after poll results that had led to President's rule being invoked in the state.

The apex court, after perusing Koshiyari's letter inviting Fadnavis, said it has to be decided whether or not the chief minister enjoys support on the floor of house.

The solicitor general explained that the governor had invited Shiv Sena, BJP and NCP for government formation and President's rule was imposed only after they failed.

As the hearing began on Monday morning, Mehta submitted letters of the governor and Fadnavis as asked by the bench on Sunday.

The apex court said it is not considering the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress' combine's plea that they be invited to form government in Maharashtra. 

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