Constitutional experts feel Maharashtra is moving towards President’s rule after two parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, have failed to prove their ability to form the next government.
While BJP, which is the single-largest party with 105 seats, did not stake claim to form the government on Sunday, Sena, with 56 seats, on Monday searched for a 48-hour extension of the deadline from the Governor to get Nationalist Congress Party (54 seats) and Congress (44 seats) on board.
The Governor, however, refused an extension, and instead invited NCP to form the government.
Experts said the Governor was exploring all options, by giving every political party a chance to stake claim to form the next government.
A retired Supreme Court judge Justice PB Sawant said, “BJP was given more than 17 days after the election results, while Sena was asked to prove its majority within 24 hours. All political parties should be given equal time. The Supreme Court verdict in SR Bommai case is very clear about it.”
The results of the Assembly elections were announced on October 24 and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited BJP on November 9 to form the government.
Once President’s rule is imposed, the state’s legislative powers are taken up by the Parliament, while the executive powers are under the scope of influence of the President .
President’s rule has to be approved by the Parliament in two months, after which it can be extended till six months and again for six more months, if elections are not possible within that period .
However, within this time frame, political parties have the right to stake claim to form the government at any point of time.