Maharashtra Political Crisis: Petition filed in Supreme Court to stop “unholy alliance” of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress

Maharashtra Political Crisis: Petition filed in Supreme Court to stop “unholy alliance” of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress

Shruti Mahajan

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to stop the “unholy alliance” likely to be formed by three political parties in Maharashtra staking a claim to form the state government.

The petition comes in the wake of talks among the Shiv Sena, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) for the purpose of forming a government in the State of Maharashtra. The State went to polls on October 21 this year.

The petitioner, Surendra Indrabahadur Singh, is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP, along with the Shiv Sena, was in power in the State up until the elections this year. In the lead up to the elections, the contest was purportedly between two factions – the BJP along with the Shiv Sena versus the NCP with the INC.

In light of the absence of a clear majority, and the talks between the BJP and Shiv Sena failing, the petitioner has moved the Supreme Court. The petition states,

“Seek to stop the unholy alliance between three political parties which have all fought against each other but is trying to form Government by joining hands thereby defeating the electoral mandate.”

The petitioner has submitted that if the coalition of the Shiv Sena and the parties it effectively fought against is allowed, it would result in dilution of the mandate of the public and will be against the “Constitutional ethos”. 

“The “unholy alliance” would virtually defeat the mandate of the public that cast their votes based on the manifesto, ideology, promises, and propaganda of each of these pre-poll alliances and thus the same should not be allowed, is the contention of the petitioner.”

The petition asks the Court to consider a number of questions, including the meaning of the phrase “largest party/group” with respect to the power of the Governor to invite the largest group to form the government. The petitioner has posed the question as to whether this phrase can bring under its ambit an alliance of the nature that the Shiv Sena, the NCP, and the INC are seeking to form in Maharashtra.

It is also asked whether it is acceptable under the Constitutional mandate for political parties that contested polls against each other to join hands after the election results. The petitioner has also asked if the alliance will be in the teeth of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the SR Bommai case.

The State of Maharashtra is currently under President’s rule after the Governor of the State recommended imposition of the same. The BJP, Shiv Sena, and the NCP were asked, one after the other, by the Governor to prove their majority. However, shortly before the deadline given to the NCP for proving the majority was to lapse, a recommendation for the imposition of President’s rule was made.

The petition is filed through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, Vishnu Shankar, and Deepak Singh.

Earlier this month, the Shiv Sena filed a petition challenging the decision of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari rejecting the claim of the party to form the government in the State.

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