The Congress and other parties on Tuesday stepped up their attack on the BJP over the political developments in Maharashtra, saying its government based on “defections” fell like a “house of cards”.
The BJP responded saying it had installed a government in “good faith” after being assured of NCP’s support by Ajit Pawar.
The Congress asked Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to invite its alliance with the Shiv Sena and the NCP to form the government in the state and urged him to shed his RSS-BJP cloak and act in good faith.
It also demanded that both Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, who assured the NCP’s support to the BJP, should apologise to the people of the state and the Supreme Court order an enquiry into the role of the governor and others involved in installing the Fadnavis government.
After Mr Fadnavis announced his resignation,a the BJP said parties “rejected by people” in the assembly polls have joined hands to “steal” popular mandate.
It also rejected the opposition’s criticism over its decision to form government despite lacking numbers, with its spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao saying it had done so in “good faith” after being assured of the NCP”s support by its leader Ajit Pawar.
Mr Rao also took a swipe at his party’s former ally Shiv Sena, saying its tally might not have not reached even double digit figures without the BJP’s support but it “cynically” exploited post-election situation to sacrifice its ideology at the altar of power politics.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said “It is ironic that on the day India was celebrating its Constitution, the BJP government was busy working to destroy it. The Constitution belongs to every Indian. Let us pledge to uphold its values and defend it at all costs.”
In a series of tweets, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala posed questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, asking “why such a spectacle of democracy was created in Maharashtra?”
Claiming that the lack of numbers of those “who kidnapped the people”s mandate” stands exposed with the developments, he said, “It is now clear that ”Chanakyaniti” (political strategy) in BJP means abduction of democracy.”
“Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar should apologise to the people of Maharashtra. Their government was based on lies and defections and fell like a house of cards.”
Asserting that there is a need to ensure accountability of the Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah, Mr Surjewala also asked why the governor was used as a puppet and why did they hurt the stature of the President.
“Why was the country’s cabinet paralysed? Why was the naked dance of defections and horse trading? Why was a minority government formed drama done of having majority for so long? Why corruption cases were taken back? Why was the Constitution torn into shreds,” he asked.
The Left parties also questioned the role of the governor and said the resignations of Fadnavis as chief minister and Ajit Pawar as his deputy were a defeat of BJP’s “manipulative politics”.
“The least that the Governor of Maharashtra must do now is to display moral conscience and quit,” tweeted CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
“Redefining of democracy through the use of money power, threats, intimidation and horse trading have failed. BJP has to bite the dust in Maharashtra,” he said.
CPI general secretary D Raja said that the twin resignations exposed how governors were the “agents” of the central government. “It is a defeat for the BJP for its manipulative politics, subversion of the Constitution and misuse of governor”s office. The governors are acting as agents of the central government,” said Raja.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the turn of events in Maharashtra has also put the role of the President under scanner but did not elaborate.
“We do hope that the governor would draw the right lesson from this entire episode as it has played out and shed his RSS-BJP cloak and appoint and invite ”Maha Vikas Aghadi” to form a government in Maharashtra so that the people get a stable government,” he said.
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