President's Rule Imposed In Maharashtra

President

In view of the continued political stalemate in Maharashtra, President Ram Nath Kovind imposed Presidential Rule in the state under Article 356 of the Constitution.

The Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had recommended presidential rule today afternoon.

The results of the recent assembly elections in Maharashtra returned a fractured mandate, with no single party getting simple majority. BJP emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats, and Shiv Sena, who was its pre-poll ally, came second with 56 seats in the 288 member assembly. NCP and Congress got 54 and 44 seats respectively.

After the declaration of results on October 24, in a surprising turnaround, Shiv Sena withdrew from its alliance with BJP, leaving the scene open for combinations with Congress and NCP.

There was no consensus reached among these parties regarding government formation even by Monday night, the deadline set by the Governor for demonstrating majority.

The Governor had rejected Shiv Sena's claim for forming government yesterday. The Sena has moved the Supreme Court challenging it. The Governor's refusal to grant at least 3 days time to show majority is termed by the Sena as "arbitrary and mala fide" in the petition. The majority of a coalition has to be determined through a floor test and not based on the subjective satisfaction of the Governor, Sena argued.

Shiv Sena claims in the petition that Congress and NCP are "principally willing" to support it, and the talks with them have reached an advanced stage. It is further mentioned in the petition that its long association with BJP came to a staggering end due to certain "fundamental political differences".

It is stated in the petition that the BJP was invited by the Governor to form Government only after an inaction of 18 days, and was given 48 hours to show its majority. When the BJP was unable to do so, after one day, the petitioner was called and was given only 24 hours time, the Sena contended.

Though Shiv Sena's legal team under the leadership of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal is trying to get an urgent hearing of the petition today itself, the SC Registry is yet to respond.