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Alliance of Cong-NCP-Sena will form govt in Maharashtra: Ahmed Patel

Patel also dismissed allegations that the Congress delayed formation of a prospective alliance government by withholding its consent for such arrangement. He said people of the country and Maharashtra have faith in the principles of democracy. "But that faith was insulted", Patel said without naming the BJP.

PTI|
Nov 23, 2019, 05.40 PM IST
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Patel, however, said the Sena-Congress-NCP combine will defeat the BJP during the floor test, and the alliance of the three parties will form the government.
MUMBAI: The "clandestine" manner in which Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as chief minister of Maharashtra and NCP's Ajit Pawar his deputy will be written in black ink in the state's history, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said on Saturday and asserted that a government of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and his party will be formed in the state.

Patel also dismissed allegations that the Congress delayed formation of a prospective alliance government by withholding its consent for such arrangement.

He accused the BJP of crossing the limits of "shamelessness" and "shattering" democracy after the Amit Shah-led party formed the government due to coup by NCP chief Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar.

Patel, however, said the Sena-Congress-NCP combine will defeat the BJP during the floor test, and the alliance of the three parties will form the government.

The three parties will fight the situation on both the political and legal front, Patel said.

Patel was accompanied by AICC general secretaries Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and others.

"There was neither band-baja (celebration) nor a procession as the chief minister, the deputy chief minister were sworn-in in a clandestine manner...the incident will be written in black ink in Maharashtra's history," Patel told reporters here.

He recalled that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had not invited the Congress, which has 44 MLAs in the 288-member House, to stake claim to form the government after the BJP, the Sena and the NCP failed to do so.

"After that a leader (Ajit) goes and submits a list. That list was not verified. All should have had been spoken to. But the oath-taking ceremony was held discretely, without telling anyone, in the morning. I am smelling rat, something is wrong somewhere," Patel said.

He said people of the country and Maharashtra have faith in the principles of democracy. "But that faith was insulted", Patel said without naming the BJP.

"The Constitution and democracy have been shattered. There is a limit of shamelessness. They have crossed the limits of shamelessness," Patel said.

He also trashed the allegations that the Congress delayed formation of government with the help of the Sena and the NCP by withholding the consent for days.

"These are absolutely baseless allegations...there was delay of not even a second on our part," Patel said and added the Congress swung into action immediately after Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray sought his party's support for government formation earlier this month.

Patel also said that the three parties will fight out the situation on both political and legal front.

The senior leader said all the MLAs of the Congress were "intact".

"Only two MLAs are in their (respective) villages. They are ready to defeat the BJP. The government of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress will be formed," he added.

Asked if the Congress MLAs will be shifted somewhere else to see they not poached ahead of the floor test, Patel said the parties will work out a strategy.

"Of course, it is sad. We are disappointed and it is very unfortunate," Patel said, when asked if the Congress was disappointed that a close confidant of Pawar joined hands with the BJP.

Patel also refused to comment when asked by a journalist whether he believed in NCP chief Sharad Pawar's comment that the latter was clueless about Ajit's move.

He also said that there was consensus among the Congress, NCP and the Sena on Uddhav Thackeray becoming the chief minister. PTI ENM NP VT NSK

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