Union Cabinet recommends Prez Rule in Maharashtra amid stalemate

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State Guv said ‘Govt of Maharashtra cannot be carried on…’ submits report ‘as contemplated by provisions of Article 356 (President’s Rule)’.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi had convened the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the stalemate in the state after the BJP opted out of the race, having bitterly fought with ally Shiv Sena over the chief minister’s chair.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Tuesday recommended President’s Rule in the state as Opposition parties launched a fresh scramble to get the necessary numbers.

The Raj Bhawan tweeted: “Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari having been satisfied that as Govt of Maharashtra cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution, has today submitted a report as contemplated by the provisions of Article 356 of Constitution (President’s Rule).”

Soon after, the Union Cabinet too advised President’s Rule in Maharashtra as all prominent stakeholders in state politics – the BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress – have so far failed to cobble together the numbers required for government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the stalemate in the state after the BJP opted out of the race, having bitterly fought with ally Shiv Sena over the chief minister’s chair.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiary then gave the Sena time till 7.30 pm on Monday evening to express its willingness to form the government and establish the numbers. Having waited whole day for the Congress and the NCP to jointly support a Sena government in the Assembly, young leader Aditya Thackeray could only prove his ‘willingness’ but could not establish the numbers.

It is learnt while Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Congress leaders were in favour of an alliance, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul were against supporting an ideologically-mismatched tie-up.

The NCP was ready with its letter of support to the Shiv Sena on Monday but the Congress held back.

The Governor turned down Thackeray’s plea for three more days to prove majority – an attempt to buy more time to for the Congress highcommand to make up its mind – and invited the NCP to form the government instead. The NCP has time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday.

The BJP had 105 MLAs, the Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and the Congress 44. The results of the Maharashtra Assembly elections were declared on October 24.

After Monday’s action in New Delhi, Tuesday saw top Congress leaders like Ahmed Patel flying down to Mumbai after chief Sonia Gandhi spoke with Sharad Pawar. The two pre-poll allies were in further talks on whether supporting the Shiv Sena was feasible and how it would go down with their support base.

NCP’s Nawab Malik said the government could not be formed without the Congress and discussions with ‘all three parties’.  He said the NCP had authorised a Sharad Pawar-led committee to give Maharashtra a stable government.

Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal were part of the discussions.


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