Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday summoned its Maharashtra MLAs to the Wankhede Stadium at 9pm after the Supreme Court ordered the Devendra Fadnavis government to prove that it has the numbers in a floor test on Wednesday.
"We will prove our majority. Tonight at 9pm, all BJP MLAs will meet in Mumbai,” BJP leader Rao Saheb Danve said after the top court described an immediate floor test as the most effective tool to ward off horse-trading and ordered it in the Maharashtra assembly through open voting.
"In a situation wherein, if the floor-test is delayed, there is a possibility of horse trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values. An immediate floor-test, in such a case, might be the most effective mechanism to do so," said the bench also including Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna.
Issuing the interim directives on the petition filed jointly by Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, the bench said the Protem Speaker shall administer the oath of office to all the members of the House by 5pm on Wednesday.
"Immediately thereafter, the Protem Speaker shall conduct the floor-test in order to ascertain whether the Respondent No. 3 (Fadnavis) has the majority, and these proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with law,” ordered the bench.
It added: “The floor-test will not be conducted by secret ballot. The proceedings have to be live telecast, and appropriate arrangements are to be made to ensure the same."
The SC was hearing a petition by Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine against Governor BS Koshyari’s decision to swear-in Fadnavis, who engineered a midnight coup with Ajit Pawar to make a stunning comeback to power.