Maharashtra: Eknath Shinde-led government to face floor test today
After Sunday's big win with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Rahul Narvekar being elected as the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly, the Eknath Shinde-led government will face a floor test on Monday. The two-day high-voltage Maharashtra Assembly session began on Sunday after Shiv Sena rebel leader Shinde toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government comprising Shive Sena, Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party in the state.
- With Shinde having formed the government in Maharashtra, the conflict has now shifted to seizing control of the Shiv Sena, the organization Uddhav Thackeray's father Bal Thackeray had founded.
- With 106 MLAs, BJP is currently the single largest party in the 287-member Assembly.
- With the Shinde faction's 50 MLAs, comprising 39 Sena rebels, the total would rise to 173, well beyond the halfway point.
On Sunday, CM Shinde, along with his Shiv Sena MLAs, held a meeting with Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and BJP MLAs to chalk out a strategy for the floor test. Meanwhile, Fadnavis believes they will prove the majority with 166 votes. Notably, Narwekar also reinstated Shinde as the leader of the legislative party and made Bharat Gogawale the Chief Whip of the Shinde faction.
A day before the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly, Narwekar was elected as the Speaker with 164 votes. His opponent, Shiv Sena legislator Rajan Salvi, received 107 votes. The two Sena factions led by Eknath Shinde Uddhav Thackeray, respectively earlier issued whips to MLAs to vote for their respective candidates. However, the Speaker took on record the letter sent by the Shinde-led faction.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Prabhu petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend the rebel MLAs who were served disqualification notices. Prabu urged the SC to "restrain" them from "entering" the Assembly or "participating in any proceeding relating to the House till the final adjudication of the disqualification." The court will hear the petition on July 11, along with other pending petitions from both sides.
Earlier, the Supreme Court extended the rebels' deadline to respond to the disqualification notices until July 12. The Shinde faction had argued that the Deputy Speaker can't disqualify them because a no-confidence motion is pending against him. To recall, Thackeray resigned as the CM on Wednesday after the Supreme Court refused to stay Governor Koshyari's order for a no-trust vote in the Assembly.