President’s rule was imposed on Maharashtra on Tuesday in the evening amidst the deadlock over government formation since the Assembly election held in the State last month. Officials said that earlier in the day today, the Union Cabinet had recommended imposition of President’s rule in the State, based on the report of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the proclamation to impose President’s rule on Maharashtra. Officials said that the State Assembly would remain in a suspended state.
The governor said in his report that such a situation had arisen in the State that a stable government for five years was not possible even 15 days after the election results were declared. The governor said that all efforts had been made to form the government, but he sees no possibility of forming a stable government.
Officials said that the governor mentioned that he felt that Maharashtra’s sound governance had become difficult as per the provisions of the Constitution and that now he had no option left and he was forced to send a report on the provision of Article 356 of the Constitution.
Five grounds of President’s rule
- Political deadlock persists in Maharashtra
- Despite claims, Shiv Sena could not give letters of support and asked for more time
- The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also asked for more time
- There are allegations of horse-trading
- Congress is in a state of unease
The Congress criticised Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for imposing President’s rule in the State, alleging that he had “abused justice” and made fun of the constitutional process. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the Maharashtra Governor of giving an “arbitrary” time to the NCP, Shiv Sena and BJP to prove a majority to form the next State government.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said, “The imposition of President’s rule in the State is a gross insult to the voters of Maharashtra.”
Curiously, even former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis issued a press note after the President’s Rule, a bit critical of the move. “President’s rule is unfortunate but we expect that Maharashtra will get a stable government soon,” he said. BJP politician Narayan Rane echoed the sentiment: “The BJP will try to form the government. Devendra Fadnavis is putting in all efforts in this direction. I think NCP-Congress are trying to make a fool out of Shiv Sena.”
Koshiyari had given the NCP time till 8:30 PM of Tuesday evening to claim it could form the government. In the meantime, he had sent a report recommending President’s rule to President Kovind.
Before this, while the Shiv Sena came up with a 50-50 power-sharing formula to honour the mandate its alliance with the BJP had received, the Congress laid down five preconditions to support an NCP-Shiv Sena government. The NCP, in these circumstances, could not assure the government it could garner the support of 144 MLAs, the half-way mark for a simple majority in the Maharashtra Assembly of strength 288. In this manner, 15 days had passed since the results of the Assembly election were out on 24 October.