New Delhi: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Monday told the Supreme Court that Ajit Pawar gave the letter of support of 54 NCP MLAs to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the leader of his legislature party which resulted in government formation in the state on Saturday.
The bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the petition jointly filed by the NCP-Congress and Shiv Sena against the formation of BJP-led government in Maharashtra.
Mehta argued that the Governor received the letter of support on November 22 through Ajit Pawar from 54 NCP MLAs, which also says "he is the head of the NCP legislative party and has signatures of 54 NCP MLAs supporting him."
He also handed over the original letter of the Governor inviting BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis to form government in Maharashtra.
Tushar Mehta representing the Maharashtra Governor's office said: "Ajit Pawar's November 22 letter to Governor reads that he needs a stable govt and President's rule cannot go on indefinitely."
"BJP had earlier asked Ajit Pawar to join them to form the government but that time he had declined because of insufficient support from NCP MLAs," he contended.
Solicitor General Mehta said that the present position is that the Governor has invited the majority alliance in the House to form government.
"Devendra Fadnavis staked claim following the letter of Ajit Pawar along with letters of support of 11 independent and other MLAs. The Governor then wrote to the President and requested for revocation of the President's Rule. Governor in his wisdom invited the leader of the largest party. Fadnavis has the support of 170 MLAs," he said.
The Bench had on Sunday asked Mehta to produce relevant documents including Maharashtra Governor's letter inviting BJP to form government and letter of support of MLAs by 10 am on Monday.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal represented Shiv Sena, and his colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented Congress-NCP in the apex court. Maharashtra BJP unit was represented by Mukul Rohatgi.
At a time when deliberations among Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena on the formation of a non-BJP government in the state had seemingly reached the final stage, the BJP formed the government in a surprise development on Saturday morning when Devendra Fadnavis took oath for the second consecutive term as the state Chief Minister, with NCP's Ajit Pawar as his Deputy Chief Minister.
On Saturday, the petitioners had filed a petition against the decision of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, inviting BJP's Devendra Fadnavis to form government in the state on November 23.
MLAs of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are currently staying at different hotels in Mumbai amid uncertainty over floor test.
BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats, 54 seats went to NCP while Congress secured 44 seats in the 288-member Assembly.