The Congress on Tuesday said Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari acted in a hurry in sending his report recommending President's rule in Maharashtra without exhausting all options for government formation.
The Shiv Sena, which on Monday suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-BJP government in the state, said if President's rule is imposed, it can be challenged in court.
The governor, who had given the NCP time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to express its "willingness and ability" to form government, has submitted a report to President Ram Nath Kovind recommending President's rule in the state.
"I condemn this action which has been taken in a hurry without exhausting all options. This raises questions about the governor's impartiality. This also raises doubt whether the governor is acting under pressure," Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant told reporters here.
Another senior Congressman Vijay Wadettiwar, who was leader of the opposition in the 13th state Assembly, the tenure of which expired on November 9, felt President's rule will not be a roadblock in government formation.
"When all the three parties (Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena) show that we have the support of more than 144 MLAs, the governor will have to invite us to form government," he said.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde echoed a similar view, saying "once we have letters of support, the President's rule can be lifted".
Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the governor should have invited his party to indicate "willingness and ability" to form government.
Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab, however, said if President's rule is imposed, it can be challenged in court.
The governor earlier asked the BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP to expres willingness to form government in the state.
After the BJP declined, Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena, which on Monday sought more time to submit letters of support. However, the governor declined the request.
Koshyari then asked the NCP to express its willingness to form government by 8.30 pm on Tuesday.
With 54 MLAs, the NCP is the third largest party after the BJP (105) and the Shiv Sena (56) in the 288-member House, where the halfway mark is 145. The Congress has 44 MLAs.