Sena-NCP-Cong letter claiming majority 'bogus': BJP

BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Monday dubbed as "bogus" the letter submitted by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine to the Maharashtra governor to claim that they have the numbers to form government in the state.

The 'Maha Vikas Aghadi', the post-poll alliance formed by the three parties, submitted a letter to the governor's office in the morning, saying it has the majority whereas the recently sworn-in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis "does not have the required numbers".

The letter was signed by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, NCP state chief Jayant Patil and Congress Maharashtra unit head Balasaheb Thorat.

"It is a bogus letter as technically Ajit Pawar is still the leader of the NCP's legislature wing and he has extended support to the BJP," Shelar told reporters here.

"The NCP has still not suspended Ajit Pawar from his post as leader of the party's legislature wing and membership of the party. Hence, Ajit Pawar is still the leader of the NCP in the Assembly," he said.

Shelar pointed out that the NCP has delegated Ajit Pawar's powers to Jayant Patil, but it has not elected the latter as leader of the party in the Assembly.

"And his powers are yet to be validated by the governor of the state. Besides, the Congress has not even elected its leader of the House, hence the signature of Balasaheb Thorat as state president has no meaning," the BJP MLA said.

In a dramatic turn of events, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis and NCP's Ajit Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 8 am on Saturday at a hush-hush ceremony in Raj Bhavan here, leading to the lifting of the President's rule in the state.

The BJP was propped up by Ajit Pawar who revolted against the NCP headed by his uncle Sharad Pawar.

The BJP and the Sena, which fought the last month's Assembly polls in an alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively.

The pre-poll alliance, however, fell apart after the BJP declined Sena's demand to share the chief minister's post.

The NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats respectively in the October 21 polls.

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