oppn parties Supreme Court Orders Open Ballot Voting, Live Telecast Of Floor Test In Maharashtra Tomorrow

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Supreme Court Orders Open Ballot Voting, Live Telecast Of Floor Test In Maharashtra Tomorrow

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The Supreme Court has ordered a floor test in the Maharashtra assembly tomorrow by 5 pm to ascertain which alliance enjoys the majority in the house. It has also ordered voting through open ballot and live telecast of the proceedings. The court did not go into the question of the Governor's conduct neither did it accept the time given by him (the Governor had asked Fadnavis to prove his majority in seven days) for the floor test. The court had reserved its judgment yesterday after hearing both the sides where the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress combine had raised questions about the Governor's conduct while Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, had said that the same was beyond the purview of judicial scrutiny as per Article 361 of the Constitution.

After the court hearing, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine staged a lot of drama in the hotel where they have kept their MLAs. The legislators were lined up and asked to take a solemn oath to support the alliance. After that, the three-party alliance challenged the BJP to prove its majority in the house. Judging by the show of strength, it seems that the alliance has the numbers and will embarrass the BJP-Ajit Pawar alliance.

But there seems to be another constitutional challenge in the offing. When Ajit Pawar had submitted the letter of support to the BJP, he was the leader of the NCP legislature party in the assembly. By that token, he had issued a whip to all MLAs to be present in the assembly and vote for the BJP-NCP alliance. Subsequently, however, he was removed by the NCP and Jayanta Patil was appointed the leader of the legislative party. The NCP has submitted a letter to this effect to the Registrar of the Maharashtra assembly. Patil has issued a whip to all MLAs to support the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress alliance. Whose whip will stand?

It will be a cracker of a day in the Maharashtra assembly tomorrow and it has been made more transparent and interesting by the Supreme Court as there will be live telecast and voting by open ballot. It is clear that if Sharad Pawar is not behind Ajit Pawar's move, Fadnavis will have to resign. The BJP and Ajit Pawar do not have the numbers. It remains to be seen whether the BJP miscalculated or whether some underhand deal has been struck that will get it the numbers. Whatever be the result, it will be a huge day for the democratic process in India.