New Delhi: Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshiyari denied the Congress with 44 legislators an opportunity to stake claim to form government because he felt it was almost impossible for the party, unless, of course, "illegal and unconstitutional means are adopted".
In a report to the President recommending the central rule, Koshiyari said he didn't want to see the 'misadventure' of a floor test. He took decision on November 12 to prevent possibilities of horse-trading and corruption to garner support by parties. "Moreover, I am alive to the fact that in case of such a misadventure of having a floor test there are eminent possibilities of horse-trading, corruption and other illegal means being adopted by concerned persons to garner support, which in my view must be ruled out under any circumstances and at any cost.
"In this regard, the developments on the eve of the aforesaid election of shifting prominent political leaders from one party to another can't simply be overlooked," the Governor's report stated. Koshiyari said he had seen poaching of leaders before elections in Maharashtra where a number of the Congress and the NCP leaders moved to the BJP and the Shiv Sena and vice versa. "These all can't be simply overlooked," he said in the report.
The BJP with 105 MLAs, the Sena (56) and the NCP (54) could not form the government. Then the Congress was approached and before their time ended, the Governor sent his recommendations for the President rule. The floor test was "neither feasible nor practical and would largely be an academic exercise as the ground situation revealed," he said.
The 13-page report also says the Governor rejected Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's request for additional one day to respond to the letter, asking him to inform in two days whether the BJP was willing to form a government. "The NCP has clearly stated they will not able be and are willing to make a claim for forming the government by November 12. The party had requested three more days for consultations."
On the Congress, the report said it had just 44 MLAs and it was 'crystal clear' it could never form a majority government. "It's needless to mention here that the difference between 65 and 145 (the majority mark) is too large and too vast, which is almost impossible to bridge unless, of course, illegal and unconstitutional means are adopted as also recourse is taken to unethical, unlawful and therefore forbidden methods," it said. He also stated that the Congress through a press statement had said it was neither staking claim nor supporting any party.
The report states all attempts to explore formation of a government had unfortunately and gradually failed even after the lapse of 17 days. The Governor claimed, no party made a claim much less a stable government by demonstrating even prima facie that they enjoyed the support of at least 145 members.