Fadnavis deserved to form govt: Guv had told Prez

Fadnavis deserved to form govt: Guv had told Prez

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari shakes hands with former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. (PTI photo)

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had recommended revocation of President's Rule in Maharashtra to enable Devendra Fadnavis within hours after he received letters of support of 170 MLAs from the BJP leader and NCP's Ajit Pawar among others, saying he "deserved to be invited" to form the government. 

Fadnavis had met the Governor late evening on November 22 and Koshyari sent the recommendation before midnight, enabling President Ram Nath Kovind to issue a notification revoking President's Rule at 5.47 am on November 23. Fadnavis was sworn in as Chief Minister and Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister around 8 am. 

The haste with which the President's Rule was revoked was criticised. The Governor had given Fadnavis 14 days to prove majority but after the Supreme Court intervened to reduce the time period, Fadnavis resigned paving the way for a Shiv Sena government in alliance with Congress and NCP. 

In his recommendation to the President, which was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Koshyari said a "stalemate" had been continuing "for a long time" in Maharashtra, which was put under President's Rule on November 12. After Assembly election results were notified on October 25, none of the parties could form a government till November 12.

On November 22, Koshyari said Fadnavis submitted his claim to form the government. 

"One Shri Ajit Pawar who is duly elected leader of Legislative Party of NCP has given a letter in support of Fadnavis, stating complete support to Fadnavis to form the government and also informing me that they will also be joining the government for a full term of five years," the letter accessed by DH, said. Pawar's letter had signatures of 54 MLAs but the party said he was not authorised to offer support to the BJP. 

Fadnavis also submitted letters of 11 MLAs who are either independents or are elected from parties other than four mainstream parties BJP, Sena, Congress and NCP, it said. 

"Considering the total strength of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly being 288 members, Devendra Fadnavis having the support of 170 members in the House, deserves to be invited to form the government," Koshyari said in his one-page letter in which he recommended revocation of President's Rule. 

Ten days before this letter, Koshyari had recommended President's Rule in the state. Then, he had decided against the "misadventure of having a floor test" to avoid the "eminent possibilities" of horse-trading and corruption to garner support by parties, which failed to form a government that enjoys the confidence of the Assembly. 

In an interesting observation in the report to the President on November 12, Koshyari also made an apparent reference to the poaching of leaders before the elections in Maharashtra where a number of Congress and NCP leaders moved to BJP and Shiv Sena and vice versa and said this “cannot be simply overlooked” if one goes for a floor test.

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