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Plea to SC to prevent Sena-led 3-party government

The petition is yet to be listed for hearing
Whether a coalition of the Sena, NCP and the Congress runs counter to the apex court’s 1984 judgment in the S.R. Bommai case.
Whether a coalition of the Sena, NCP and the Congress runs counter to the apex court’s 1984 judgment in the S.R. Bommai case.
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Our Legal Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 22.11.19, 08:17 PM

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a directive forbidding the formation of a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra on the ground that it would be a “fraud” on the electorate.

Alternatively, if the governor chooses to invite such a post-poll alliance, the government formation should be declared “unconstitutional”, petitioner Surendra Indrabahadur Singh aka Kamal Singh has pleaded.

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The petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

Singh, who has moved his petition through advocate Sriram Parakkat, claims to be a voter from the Dindoshi Assembly constituency of Maharashtra.

He has pleaded that the possibility of a Sena-NCP-Congress government raises questions about the meaning and purport of the expression “largest party/group” in the context of the governor’s powers to invite parties or groups to form the government.

Some of the queries he has raised are:

  • Whether the expression can include a group of parties that contested against each other and fought the election expressly against each other in terms of ideology, policies, propaganda and manifesto.
  • Whether an alliance between two political parties that contested against each other is acceptable under the constitutional scheme.
  • Whether a coalition of the Sena, NCP and the Congress runs counter to the apex court’s 1984 judgment in the S.R. Bommai case. In that judgment, a constitution bench had ruled that the largest single party or pre-poll alliance should first be invited to form the government before any other combination is considered.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had on November 9 invited the BJP, the largest single party, to form the government. He had invited the Sena, the second-largest party, the following day after the BJP had declined, citing its lack of numbers. Two days later, Maharashtra was put under President’s rule.

According to the petitioner, a Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra “will amount to playing fraud on the voters who have voted for (the) Shiv Sena believing (its claim) that it’s going for the pre-poll alliance” with the BJP.

“Such votes which are cast under misrepresentation and fraud vitiate the vote cast by me and people alike and in fact vitiates the entire democratic electoral system.”

So, the petition “seeks 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”.

It has asked the apex court to either “issue a writ of prohibition restraining” the governor from inviting the Sena-NCP-Congress to form the government “against the mandate of the people”; or, if such a government is formed, declare its formation “unconstitutional” and therefore “liable to be dismissed”.



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