Involvement of three constitutional authorities most disturbing about Maha episode: CPI(M)

New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) The CPI(M) has said its gravest concern over the formation of the three-day Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra is the fact that three constitutional authorities were involved in this 'self-incriminating project', who all acted at the 'behest' of the BJP, instead of following constitutional norms.

In the latest edition of party mouthpiece People's Democracy, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has called the Fadnavis government a 'three-day wonder'.

'What happened on the night of November 23 and morning of November 24 was a brazen assault on the Constitution and democratic principles. More disturbingly, three constitutional authorities were involved in this self-incriminating project -- the governor, the prime minister and the president of India.

'They all acted at the behest of the BJP and the interests of the ruling party at the Centre rather than follow constitutional norms,' it said.

It also said by swearing-in Fadnavis as the chief minister, based on a 'bogus' support letter provided by NCP legislative party leader Ajit Pawar, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari 'misused his office to fulfil the intent of the party he belonged to'.

The Left party said this was compounded by the manner in which he recommended the lifting of President's rule in the middle of the night, while alleging that Prime Minister Modi got the assent for lifting President's rule 'without the approval of the cabinet' at 5.47 am.

Finally, the president signed off on the lifting of President's rule without satisfying himself that the due process and norms were followed, it said.

'This does not explain the extent of the assault on the Constitution and parliamentary democracy. How was the BJP so confident that it could get away with this anti-democratic project? It was arrogantly cocksure, because it had full confidence that its deployment of money power and use of the corruption gambit would ensure sufficient numbers to cross over,' the CPI(M) said.

The editorial also alleged that the Maharashtra episode revealed the depths to which the BJP used big money and intimidation through state agencies to suborn political loyalty.

'The defection of Ajit Pawar is damning testimony. 48 hours after being sworn-in as the deputy chief minister, the Anti-Corruption Bureau dropped charges in nine cases in the irrigation scam against him. Earlier, Devendra Fadnavis, as an opposition MLA, had accused Pawar of being the 'kingpin' behind the Rs 70,000 crore scam. It is reported that the BJP was willing to pay enormous sums of money for each NCP MLA to defect,' it said.

For the people of India, the Maharashtra shenanigans were an eye-opener about the anti-democratic, authoritarian character of the BJP and the RSS functionaries who led it, the editorial said. PTI ASG RC