Political Drama in Maharashtra crisis escalates
In what has come to be known as the Maha political crisis, the drama continues to unfold. It has come to notice that the NCP had to carry out a ‘rescue operation’ to take back four MLAs of the NCP. One, Sonia Doohan, the students’ wing president of the National Conference of Parties [NCP] headed the operation to bring back four MLAs- Daulat Daroda (Shahpur), Narhari Zirwal (Dindori), Nitin Pawar (Kalwan) and Anil Patil (Amalner). These four MLAs had gone missing after they attended the swearing-in ceremony of Ajit Pawar as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. After a successful rescue operation, Sonia Doohan explained what transpired beneath. She said that Sharad Pawar Saheb received a message from one of these four MLAs, saying they have been held against their will. Soon after, Sharad Pawar made arrangements to bring back these MLAs and entrusted Sonia Doohan, a student of the Kurukshetra University to head the operation. She has revealed that on reaching the location at Gurgaon, New Delhi at the hotel where these MLAs were being held, they came across strict security. She says that the team found around 150 people guarding the hotel. Fearing violence, they secretly booked a room in the hotel and planned to get these MLAs out. After this rather Bollywood-drama in politics, NCP claims to have back 51 out of 54 legislators, alleging loyalty to Sharad Pawar led NCP. The rescue was finished when the NCP party members managed to distract the guards and get three of the four MLAs back to Mumbai. Narahari Zirwal has not been keeping well and has stayed back in New Delhi. The first to be rescued was Nitin Pawar, who took a way out when the guards were distracted. The other three were brought out when the guards were on a dinner break at around 10:30 PM on Sunday. She says,
“We got them to the New Delhi airport and took a flight at 2.40 AM back to Mumbai.”
On the same note NCP Youth President, Dheeraj Sharma alleged that:
“After establishing contact with the MLAs, we created a safety passage late on Sunday night. We after that managed to rescue three of the MLAs through the gate meant for the hotel staff and took them to the airport. However, Zirwal could not be rescued though, and we had to launch a similar operation for him around 4:00 AM on the next day.” She also mentioned that in the process, there were some minor scuffles with BJP workers who were in civil dress and had positioned themselves there along with other government officials. There was a misuse of official machinery in the entire episode by the BJP government”
The Times of India reports that it has been gathered by information from the sources said the MLAs were taken by BJP workers for lunch on Sunday afternoon to Kingdom of Dreams and since then their movements were restricted and monitored.
In response to the allegations, BJP’s Gurgaon district president Bhupinder Chauhan has called the claims to be ‘imaginary’. He said, how can anyone hold a hostage in a hotel? He fretted the allegations saying that no one from the BJP has any role to play in the incidents that took place at the said hotel in Gurgaon, Delhi. On the other hand, Anil Patil has been saying that he had not gone missing or was abducted. He explains what transpired
“When we reached the hotel (in Delhi), at least 100-200 BJP workers were present there along with a lot of police cars and personnel in civil dress. We were scared,” he said.
Patil said that initially, he, along with others, were unaware of what was happening. However, as soon as they understood the rationale behind, they tried different means to reach out to Sharad Pawar Ji and expressed their willingness to return to the party. A similar statement was given by Nitin Pawar, representing Kalyan. He has said in a statement that he supports the Sharad Pawar-led party and reveals that they were taken to Delhi without knowing what was to happen there. Pawar’s family members filed a missing person complaint about him when they did not know about his whereabouts.
Times of India met Babasaheb Patil, NCP’s Latur MLA. Patil had also managed to leave the same hotel on Sunday. He says that he was called to a meeting at Dhananjay Munde’s house and without any other information taken to the swearing-in. He says that at that time he thought this was the party’s position. Then he was told they were being taken to attend a meeting out of town. Therefore, he called for his bags, and we were flown to Gurgaon.
Floor test to decide the ending of the polticial drama in Maharashtra
In a decision pending before the Supreme Court in a plea filed by NCP-Sena-Congress alliance, the judgment is pronounced. The Supreme Court vide its decision has ordered for a floor test tomorrow. The test will conclusively decide on the strength of the BJP-led Maharashtra government. The opposition of NCP-Sena-Congress alliance is headstrong to claim that they do not have necessary support. The Devendra Fadnavis government seeks on flimsy ground, after the press conference of Sharad Pawar last evening. In a press-conference, Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi have shown their strength to be a total of 162 members. The MLAs took a pledge not to be lured by anything and not to do anything to benefit the BJP.
As per the decision of the court, the floor test is due to be held tomorrow by 05:00 PM. Moreover, it has also commented on the mode of the floor test, saying there will be no secret ballot and preferably by a show of hands. The proceedings of the floor test will be telecasted live. It has also noted that a pro-tem speaker will swear in the newly elected lawmakers.
What remains in the Supreme Court is the issue regarding a judicial review of the decision of the Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari who allowed the swearing-in of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar. It has previously once contended in this matter that the decisions of the governor of any state, stay outside the purview of judicial review, in light of the provision laid down under Article 361 of the Indian Constitution. However, the Supreme Court has granted a time of eight weeks to the parties to submit their contentions on the said issue.
The decision of the Supreme Court is being seen as a win for the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, who together name their partnership as the Maha Vikas Aghadi. Nawab Malin, an NCP leader, had tweeted ‘Satyamev Jayate’, minutes after the news broke. He has also tweeted ‘The game of the BJP is now over’. The decision was also celebrated by Sharad Pawar, who said it is ‘heartening’ that the favourable verdict had come on the ‘Constitution Day’. He paid his tribute to Dr Babasaheb Rao Ambedkar. His tweet reads:
I am grateful to Hon’ble SC for upholding democratic values and constitutional principles. It’s heartening that the Maharashtra Verdict came on the #ConstitutionDay, a Tribute to Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar!
Meanwhile, in response, the Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil has said that his party respects the decision of the Supreme Court. He says that it was ready to prove its majority on the floor of the parliament.