India

Maharashtra Governor recommends President's rule ahead of NCP deadline

Maharashtra Governor recommends President's rule ahead of NCP deadline

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari recommended imposition of President’s rule in the state, according to a statement released by his office on Tuesday. The governor, who had given the NCP time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to express its “willingness and ability” to form government, has submitted a report to President Ram Nath Kovind.

The Congress, which is yet to commit to join a Shiv Sena-led government, said Governor Koshyari acted in haste without exhausting all options for government formation.

“I condemn this action which has been taken in a hurry without exhausting all options. This raises questions about the governor’s impartiality. This also raises doubt whether the governor is acting under pressure,” Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant told reporters here

The Union Cabinet, which met today afternoon to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra, also recommended President’s rule, according to news agency PTI. The Cabinet meeting took place hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Brazil to attend the 11th BRICS summit.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena moved the Supreme Court after the Governor rejected its request to extend the deadline by three three days to submit letters of support from the NCP and Congress. Koshiyari had last evening invited NCP to form government after Shiv Sena failed to come up with the numbers.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi spoke to NCP chief Sharad Pawar and authorised three senior party leaders to hold  talks on the issue of government formation in Maharashtra.

As hectic deliberations continued, Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal arrived in Mumbai for holding discussions with Pawar.

The BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats post the October 24-Assembly elections verdict, did not stake a claim after pre-poll ally Sena refused to support it. Sena, with 56 seats in its kitty, was invited next by the Governor. With 54 MLAs, the NCP is the third-largest party while the Congress has 44 MLAs.