49-50 MLAs are with Sharad Pawar, claims NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal

Mumbai: Amid high octane political drama in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal on Sunday confirmed that 49-50 MLAs are with party chief Sharad Pawar and two more are arriving at the party’s office to extend their support.

“Around 49-50 MLAs of the party are with us right now and 1-2 are coming too. All the MLAs have been kept together. NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena will 100 per cent form government in Maharashtra,” Bhujbal told media persons.

Being asked about NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s betrayal to the party as he joined hands with the BJP, he said: “Pawar will not come back to the NCP.”

After a prolonged uncertainty over the government formation that lasted for nearly a month, Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday morning took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister, while NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in as deputy chief minister.

As BJP returned to power in the state, Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have been prompted to save their MLAs from poaching, following which all MLAs are being sequestered to different hotels.

Congress had shifted its MLAs to JW Marriott Hotel in Andheri.

All eyes are on the Supreme Court today as it will hear a joint plea of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress against the decision of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for inviting BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis to form the government in the state on November 23.

The petitioners have requested the Supreme Court to order a floor test to be held on Sunday (today) itself.

Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal will appear in the court on behalf of the petitioners. The matter will be heard at 11:30 am.

Sources informed that since Maharashtra government has not been given any notice by the Supreme Court, it has decided not to have its representation in the court. However, the Standing Counsel of the Maharashtra government has been asked to remain on ‘standby’ and adequately represent the government in case the court asks for or if needed.

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