Devendra Fadnavis to hold meeting with BJP MLAs

Devendra Fadnavis to hold meeting with BJP MLAs

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis (C) arrives for a press conference to announce his decision to tender his resignation in Mumbai on November 26, 2019. (AFP)

With the Supreme Court ordering a floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, all newly-elected BJP MLAs in the state have been asked to reach Mumbai to attend a meeting to be addressed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here on Tuesday evening, a party leader said.

Along with its own 105 MLAs, the BJP has the support of "14 other legislators" from various smaller parties and Independents, the leader claimed.

The BJP also has the support of NCP's Ajit Pawar, to meet its requirement of a minimum 145 MLAs to prove majority in the 288-member House, he said, without elaborating.

The BJP earlier withdrew its claim to form the government but in a dramatic turn of events, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister and the NCP's Ajit Pawar as his deputy by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, at a hush-hush ceremony in Raj Bhavan early on Saturday morning.

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

Later, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine moved the Supreme Court against the governor's decision to swear in Fadnavis as chief minister.

The apex court on Tuesday directed that a floor test for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority in the state Assembly be conducted on Wednesday.

"Chief Minister Fadnavis and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil will address a meeting of all party legislators on Tuesday evening. Hence, all the newly-elected BJP MLAs in the state have been asked to reach Mumbai to attend it," the BJP leader said.

"The BJP has 105 seats along with the support from some 14 Independent MLAs and legislators of smaller parties, taking the tally to 119," he said, adding that the party also has the support of NCP leader Ajit Pawar to fulfil the requirement of minimum 145 MLAs to prove majority.

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

The Sena, however, broke its three-decade-long ties with the BJP, after the latter declined to share the chief minister's post.

The NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats respectively.