NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that the floor test in Maharashtra Assembly should be held before 5 p.m. on Wednesday and that too through open ballot. The Court also made it clear that it has to be telecast live. The court said the floor test will be conducted by the protem speaker after the members take oath by 5pm tomorrow. The verdict could come as a setback for the BJP, which has formed a government with support from NCP MLAs under Deputy CM Ajit Pawar's leadership.

On Monday, Shiv Sena- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)- Congress had urged the apex court to order an immediate floor test in Maharashtra, while the Governor's office and the Chief Minister had sought more time to prove a majority. The Supreme Court reserved its order and said that a decision will be announced on Tuesday morning. On Monday evening, Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi claimed that it had the support of 162 MLAs. 'We are 162', the group pledged at a show of unity in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said it plans to move the Supreme Court against the closure of irrigation scam cases, saying the Devendra Fadnavis government could not take major policy decisions till the floor test was conducted. According to the joint plea by Sena, NCP and Congress, the parties have termed the decision to close cases against Ajit Pawar illegal. Seeking a stay on ACB's move to close cases, the plea seeks that the court restrains Fadnavis from taking any such decision till the floor test is done. The application will be mentioned after the SC's order at 10.30am today.