New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on held Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari responsible for the protracted political drama that had engulfed the state after a hush-hush ceremony on Saturday morning when the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the chief minister, just hours after the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine announced Uddhav Thackeray as the pick for the top post.
"That is the way they celebrate Constitution Day. That is the honour they show to the Constitution," said the 74-year-old a day after Constitution Day was observed across the country. "The Governor, the Prime Minister and President are all responsible for the midnight affair."
"It is sad that the President is involved, deeply sad that he is woken up at 4 am in the morning," said Chidambaram as he was being taken to jail after a hearing in a Delhi court, which extended till December 11 his judicial custody in connection with the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate.
Chidambaram had expressed the same sentiments earlier on Wednesday, in a tweet saying, "What will remain in memory of Constitution Day 2019 is the most egregious violation of the Constitution in Maharashtra between November 23 and November 26, 2019."
"It was an assault on the office of Rasthrapathi to wake him up at 4.00 am to sign an order revoking President's Rule. Why could it not have waited until 9.00 am in the morning?," Chidambaram asked in the tweet posted on his behalf by his family.
The Congress and other Opposition parties have questioned Koshyari's alleged role in the clandestine swearing-in on Saturday morning, which announced Fadnavis's return as chief minister more than a month after the results of the Assembly elections were announced on October 24. However, after the Supreme Court mandated a floor test in the Assembly on Tuesday, Fadnavis and his deputy, Ajit Pawar, resigned. This paved the way for the Sena-NCP-Congress combine to stake its claim to form the government.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Tuesday had said that Koshyari should shed his RSS-BJP cloak, and that the turn of events in Maharashtra has put the role of the President under scanner.
(With inputs from agencies)