Ajit Pawar claims to be 'real' NCP in SC

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday told the Supreme Court that he is from the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and has been authorised by 54 of the party's MLAs to take a decision on their behalf on government formation in the state.

Pawar, who is the nephew of veteran NCP leader Sharad Pawar, told the top court that "the quarrel in the family will be resolved soon".

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna was told by senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing Ajit Pawar, that the letter of support given to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari for government formation along with the BJP is "factually and legally correct".

"I am the NCP. The letter I gave is factually correct. There is nothing to contradict the letter. I was authorised as a legislative party leader by 54 MLAs of my party to take a decision on their behalf on government formation, on the day I gave that letter. The quarrel I have within my family will be resolved soon but this petition must end now." Singh said.

He said that even the petition filed by Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress combine in the apex court said that he is an NCP leader and "even they have impleaded me as a party".

The top court asked Singh what he has to say on the question of floor test in the assembly for proving the majority.

Singh replied that on the issue of floor test he will adopt the arguments of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, that the court cannot interfere with the discretionary exercise of power by the governor is asking the government to prove its majority on the floor of the house.

Rohatgi said Fadnavis had Ajit Pawar's letter of support of 170 MLAs and thereafter he staked claim to form the state government.

"It is nobody's case that the documents submitted by Fadnavis to the governor are forged," he said.

Rohatgi said that some kind of a feud was going on in the Pawar family.

"One Pawar is with me, another Pawar is with them in the Supreme Court," he said and added that the combine was unnecessarily alleging that some kind of horse-trading was going on."In fact, till Friday, they were indulging in horse-trading," he added.

The top court said it will pass an order at 10.30 AM on Tuesday on the issue of floor test for the Maharashtra government led by Devendra Fadnavis whose swearing-in has been challenged by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine.

The order by the top court is keenly awaited as the combine has sought the advancement of the floor test for which the BJP-led government was granted 14 days on November 23 by the Governor. 

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