The unprecedented hearing in the Supreme Court on Sunday, on a plea by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine against the Maharashtra Governor's decision to invite Devendra Fadanvis to form the state government, saw politicians like ex-Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Randeep Surjewala in the packed courtroom to witness proceedings.
The post-poll alliance of the three parties christened as 'Maha Vikas Aghadi', which was busy devising modalities of government formation in Maharashtra, was caught unawares as the fluid political situation changed dramatically on Saturday morning as first the President's rule was revoked and then Fadanvis and Ajit Pawar were sworn-in as chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively around 8 AM.
A galaxy of leaders of the alliance including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar and NCP leader and Rajya Sabha lawmaker Majeed Memon were seen waiting outside the courtroom much before the start of the crucial proceedings at 11.30 AM.
Despite being a Sunday, the courtroom was packed with lawyers, scribes and leaders of parties even before the hearing began. They were all trying hard to get closer to the dias to watch the proceedings.
Journalists had a tough time in jotting down notes as lawyers and the leaders jostled for space in their bid to go near the dias in an already packed courtroom.
Chavan and Surejewala were seen sitting on chairs earmarked for lawyers in the courtroom and they keenly watched the proceedings.
The top court asked the Centre to place before it on Monday morning the letters of the Governor inviting Fadnavis and of the BJP leader staking his claim to form the government in the state.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, for the time being, did not accede to the fervent request of the petitioners that the Fadanvis government be asked to undertake a floor test within 24 hours.
The bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Saniv Khanna, rather said that the issue that the state government be asked to undergo an immediate floor test would be taken up on Monday after perusing the letters of the Governor and the BJP leader.
On conclusion of proceedings, the leaders, flanked by lawyers, rushed to the Supreme Court lawn to give sound bytes to waiting for video journalists.