Cong-NCP-Sena hold historic parade after staking claim

'Trimurti alliance' asserts that it will throw BJP out of power

Photo: DH

MUMBAI, DHNS: In an unprecedented development in India's political history, the Trimurti combine of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress held a massive show of strength hours after it staked claim to form the government on Monday.

The mega political event was titled "Amhi 162" (We Are 162), and was a massive show of strength and a sort of parade challenging the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Ajit Pawar grouping.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, and veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge presided over the event.

"There would not be any problem in proving majority," Pawar said.

"A government was formed in Maharashtra without a majority. Karnataka, Goa and Manipur, the BJP didn't have majority anywhere but formed government....this is Maharashtra," Pawar said.

Uddhav said that the alliance is not hungry for power. "We will stick to 'satyamev jayate'...we are followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," he said.

Taking a dig at Fadnavis, he said: "I will not say "I will come again"...."we have already come"...," he said.

Former chief minister and senior Congressman Ashok Chavan thanked party president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for allowing the Maharashtra unit to enter this alliance.

"We are more than 162, not just 162," he said.

NCP leader Dr Jitendra Ahwad also administered an oath to the MLAs of the three parties and allies Samajwadi Party, Prahar Janshakti Party and Independents.

The event - that also saw an oath - was held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Mumbai amid tight security arrangements.

Earlier in the day, top leaders of three parties visited Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter along with a list of 162 MLAs. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, was, however, not in Mumbai, and the letter was handed over to his secretary. 

Shiv Sena legislature party leader Eknath Shinde, state NCP president and legislature party leader Jayant Patil, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were present. 

The development comes around the time when the Supreme Court was conducting a hearing and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his deputy Ajit Pawar were visiting the Vidhan Bhavan complex to pay tributes to Maharashtra's first chief minister and ex-deputy prime minister YB Chavan.

"Once Fadnavis fails to prove his majority during the floor test, the Shiv Sena's claim for government formation should be considered," the parties said in the letter.

"We have submitted a list of 162 members," Patil said. 

He said that the common minimum programme of the three parties is also ready.

"They (BJP-Ajit Pawar group) don't have numbers and they can't prove majority in the floor of the House," Thorat said. 

On Sunday evening, the BJP tasked four veterans Narayan Rane, Ganesh Naik, Babanrao Pachpute and Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil to garner the support of rival group MLAs. "We are in touch with everyone, and, everyone means everyone, we will prove the majority," said Pachpute.

Pawar, who was in Karad in the morning, said that moving towards BJP was Ajit's personal decision and not of NCP. "We have the numbers," he said.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's aide Sanjay Raut said that he has come across media reports that Ajit Pawar has been promised CM's post on a rotational basis.

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