The BJP’s ‘wait and watch’ stand amid Maharashtra’s political crisis swiftly changed to ‘action’ mode on Tuesday as former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis after his meetings with union home minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda led a delegation at Raj Bhavan and urged the Governor BS Koshyari to direct the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove the majority on the floor of house. The meeting went on for an hour.
Fadnavis, who was accompanied by Chandrakant Patil, Pravin Darekar, Ashish Shekar, after meeting with the Governor said that they had submitted letter through an email and in person to the latter on the present political crisis especially after the rebellion staged by Eknath Shinde and other Shiv Sena legislators. ‘’We have told the Governor that 39 Shiv Sena legislators have clearly said that they do not want to stay with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. This makes it amply clear that the MVA government has lost the majority. Therefore, we have urged the Governor to direct the MVA government and the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to face the floor test and prove the majority.’’
‘’We have written to the Governor and told him that Shiv Sena's 39 MLAs are repeatedly saying they don't want to be in an alliance with the Congress-NCP. This means they are not with the government," said Fadnavis. ‘’So we have told the Governor that he should ask the Chief Minister to conduct a floor test and prove majority," he added.
Fadnavis said that the delegation also attached a number of Supreme Court orders adding that the Governor will take a proper decision.
Interestingly, even when the meeting between the BJP delegation and Governor was underway a letter purportedly written by the Governor to the state legislature became viral on social media. The unsigned letter was dated June 29. ‘’ I have carefully gone through the letters from certain independent MLAs dated June 28. I am of the opinion that Uddhav Thackeray has lost the confidence of the majority on the floor of the house. Consequently, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 174 read with 175(2)of the Constitution of India I have, by a letter dated June 29, 2022 directed a special session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly to be convened on June 30, 3033at 11 am and directed Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority on the floor of the house.’’
However, Raj Bhavan later clarified that no such letter has been issued.
Earlier, Fadnavis flew to Delhi along with Rajya Sabha member and leading lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani to discuss legal issues ahead of the possible formation of a government with the Shiv Sena’s breakaway group led by Eknath Shinde. Until now, the BJP has made repeated claims that the disgruntled Sena members are the party’s internal matter.
Fadnavis reportedly met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda on the details. The BJP has called all its 106 legislators and independents and smaller parties to arrive in Mumbai on Wednesday and stay in the city at least till Sunday. Fadnavis is expected to meet them individually. BJP insiders claimed that the floor test will happen on June 30 and the swearing-in by Sunday.
BJP insiders said that the party will press for floor test pending the Supreme Court hearing on the deputy speaker’s notices to 16 MLAs for disqualification. ‘’The party is quite confident to win the floor test and thereafter expects the Governor to form the government with rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
A senior BJP legislator said, “In the new government, the BJP will get 26 ministerial berths, with 16 going to the Shinde camp, including independents. Besides, the rebel camp will be accommodated in key government undertakings and corporations, too.’’
Meanwhile, state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant tweeted, ‘’ Finally, Maha Shakti has to surface.’’ ‘’Good people are understanding that the crisis was orchestrated by the BJP,’’ he claimed.