Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered for floor test to be held on Wednesday, setting up a thriller in Maharashtra's political drama.
As per the directions of the court-
I. Floor test to be telecast live and to be completed by 5pm
II. Senior-most MLA of the House to be nominated as Pro-tem speaker.
III. The Pro-tem speaker will be appointed with the only agenda of conducting floor test.
IV. There will be no secret ballot
The order was passed by the bench of Justices N.V. Ramana, Ashok Bhushan, and Sanjiv Khanna. The Court while finding no reason for delaying the floor test observed, "In a situation wherein, if the floor test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so."
Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is confident that the Congress-Shiv Sena-NCP combine will form the government. “We will win the floor test," Mrs Gandhi said.
Soon after the court ruling, all parties have begun the task of preparing for Wednesday’s litmus test. The BJP has summoned all its 105 MLAs for a 9pm meeting at Wankhede Stadium.
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar, President of NCP, welcomed the SC verdict. The veteran leader tweeted, "I am grateful to Hon’ble SC for upholding democratic values and constitutional principles. It’s heartening that the Maharashtra Verdict came on the #ConstitutionDay, a Tribute to Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar!"
On the other hand, Shiv Sena, through its mouthpiece 'Saamna' hit out at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Taking a dig at the Governor over the 'hurried' formation of government, Sena said while one Bhagat Singh went to the gallows for freedom, the other "hanged" democracy in the darkness of the night.