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Maharashtra crisis: Will heaven fall if vote is not conducted tomorrow, asks Thackeray camp

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Mumbai, Jun 29: Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu on Wednesday challenged in the Supreme Court the Maharashtra Governor's direction to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday, saying the order to conduct a floor test in a "supersonic speed" amounts to putting the cart before the horse.

Maharashtra crisis: Shiv Sena likely to move SC if governor orders floor test

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Prabhu, told a vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala that two MLAs of the NCP are down with COVID-19 while two MLAs of the Congress are abroad and they are asked to participate in the floor test on Thursday.

Singhvi argued that allowing floor tests would mean making Tenth Schedule a "dead letter". The bench observed that the Tenth schedule is one of the robust provisions and the court should strengthen it. The hearing in the matter is underway.

"Governor's order to conduct floor test with supersonic speed amounts to putting the cart before the horse," Singhvi told SC.

"While the matter is waiting for adjudication before the Supreme Court, how can the Governor who just recovered from COVID, after a meeting with the Leader of Opposition, ask for a Floor Test the next day?," Singhvi said.

"The people who have changed sides and defected cannot represent the will of the people. Can't the Governor trust the Court to not call a Floor Test tomorrow? Will heavens fall if there is no Floor Test tomorrow?," he added.

Senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Governor and requested him to ask Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray government to prove its majority in the assembly.

"We've given a letter to Maharashtra Governor and told him that the 39 Shiv Sena MLAs are saying that they don't want to be with NCP and Cong government which shows the MVA govt has lost the majority. We've requested Governor to direct Chief Minister to immediately prove his majority through Floor test," ANI quoted Devendra Fadnavis as saying.

Before meeting the governor around 10 pm, Fadnavis met top BJP leaders in Delhi earlier in the day.

Reportedly, before Fadnavis landed at the Raj Bhavan here, eight Independent MLAs, who were earlier associated with the Shiv Sena, sent emails from Guwahati -- where the rebel group headed by Shinde is camping -- seeking floor test at the earliest claiming that Thackeray government has lost its majority.

The revolt in the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, has pushed the three-party ruling coalition, which also consists of the NCP and the Congress, into a deep crisis. In a relief to rebel Shiv

Sena lawmakers, the Supreme Court on Monday kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel MLAs questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.

The current political crisis is triggered after MLA Eknath Shinde flew to Surat with some MLAs before shifting to Guwahati. He has claimed to have 40 MLAs with him, thus achieving the two-thirds majority in the Shiv Sena.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the mid-way mark is 144. However, the current strength is 287 following the demise of one Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke of Mumbai.

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