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Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong’s ‘We are 162 MLAs’ parade

Addressing the MLAs, Sharad Pawar said: “Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will decide on the date for the vote of confidence. The governor will have no option but to call you. Unlike Manipur or Goa, this is Maharashtra. We won’t allow anything wrong to happen. We say what is right and what is wrong. We have the capacity to teach you a lesson.”

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 26, 2019, 06.50 AM IST
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Pawar addressed a joint meeting of 162 MLAs of 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress at a five-star hotel in Mumbai.
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) comprising Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and smaller parties paraded 162 MLAs, including Independents, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai on Monday to show that the BJP government did not have support of majority MLAs. A NCP delegation also met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and submitted a letter containing signatures of 162 MLAs. NCP state chief Jayant Patil told reporters: “We have told the governor that we have the numbers and he should not dissolve the assembly but invite us to form the government when the Fadnavis government fails the floor test.”

Flanked by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge at the hotel, the MLAs held up banners that read ‘we are 162’. Addressing the MLAs, Sharad Pawar said: “Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will decide on the date for the vote of confidence. The governor will have no option but to call you. Unlike Manipur or Goa, this is Maharashtra. We won’t allow anything wrong to happen. We say what is right and what is wrong. We have the capacity to teach you a lesson. We will not allow the constitutional process to be destroyed. We will make history.” The NCP chief added that the three parties would not accept any underhand dealings and warned that the three parties would be ready for strong arm tactics. “We have the Shiv Sena with us. I don’t think I need to say anything more.” A minority government is in power in Maharashtra and the Centre has been using all kinds of tricks to hang on to power in different states in the country. The country is seeing for the first time to what extent BJP is using government machinery to come to power in different states like Karnataka, Goa and Manipur, he said. Clarifying the legal position, Pawar said a misunderstanding was being spread that Ajit Pawar could disqualify MLAs. “We have dismissed him from the post of the legislative party chief. A person the party has suspended cannot issue a whip,” Pawar said. He reassured MLAs that no action will be taken against them if they vote for MVA. “I am talking full responsibility to say no action can be taken against you. We will come to power and we will keep away those who have come to power illegally.”

Uddhav Thackeray, who spoke before Pawar said Congress, NCP and Sena would be in a permanent alliance now. “We will be in power not just for five years, but will be together after that and for 30 more years. We will bury those who are hungry for power.” BJP is desperately clinging on to power but “we will come back stronger,” he said. The party won’t tolerate any underhand tricks. “BJP has been with us for 25 years and should know what we are capable of.” The MLAs then took an oath that they would not ‘fall prey to any inducements and would obey the party’s stand and would remain faithful to it’.

BJP lampooned the ‘identification parade’ of the opposition MLAs and said Congress, NCP and Sena were parading MLAs as criminals. “They are treating this like child’s play. Only criminals have identification parade not MLAs,” said Ashish Shelar. He said there were not more than 135 MLAs at the meeting. “The real test is during the confidence vote and that is where Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will emerge winners in a photo finish.”

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