CM Eknath Shinde wins trust vote in Maharashtra Assembly
Mumbai, July 4 (PTI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday won the crucial floor test in the state Assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House.
In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it.
Three legislators abstained from voting, while 21 legislators, including Congress’s Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar, were absent during the trust vote.
Speaker Rahul Narvekar announced that the trust vote was carried by a majority vote.
After the death of a Shiv Sena MLA recently, the current strength of the Assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.
Last month, Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against the Sena. Majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.
Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30, a day after Thackeray quit the post. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis was sworn in as the deputy CM.
During the floor test, MLAs Abu Azmi and Rais Shaikh (both of the Samajwadi Party) and Shah Farukh Anwar (AIMIM) abstained from voting.
Eleven Congress MLAs – Ashok Chavan, Vijay Wadettiwar, Dheeraj Deshmukh, Praniti Shinde, Jitesh Antapurkar, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Raju Awale, Mohan Hambarde, Kunal Patil, Madhavrao Jawalgaonkar and Shirish Chaudhary – were absent during the floor test.
Chavan and Wadettiwar came late and were unable to enter the House at the time of the vote.
The NCP legislators absent from the House were – Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik, Dattatray Bharane, Anna Bansode, Babandada Shinde and Sangram Jagtap. Deshmukh and Malik are currently in jail following arrest in separate money laundering cases.
Two BJP MLAs – Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap – both of whom are seriously ill, also did not come to the House, while BJP’s Rahul Narvekar could not vote as he is the Speaker.
AIMIM legislator Mufti Mohammad Ismail also did not attend the session.
Ahead of the floor test, Sena MLA Santosh Bangar, from the Uddhav Thackeray camp, joined CM Shinde’s faction, taking its tally to 40.
Speaking in the House after the floor test, Fadnavis said when some MLAs were voting, members from the opposition benches shouted “ED, ED”.
“It is true the new government is formed by ED, which stands for Eknath and Devendra, the BJP leader remarked.
Without taking the name of former CM Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis claimed Maharashtra witnessed a “deficit of leadership availability” in the last few years.
“But, there are two leaders in the House (Shinde and himself), who will always be available for people, Fadnavis said.
On Sunday, in a jolt to former CM Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar reinstated Eknath Shinde as the Shiv Sena legislature party leader, removing Ajay Chaudhary.
Narvekar had also recognised the appointment of Bharat Gogawale from the Shinde camp as the chief whip of the Sena, removing Sunil Prabhu, who belongs to the Thackeray faction.
Following is the party position in the Assembly: Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, Samajwadi Party 2, AIMIM 2, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, MNS 1, CPI (M) 1, PWP 1, Swambhimani Paksha 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, and Independents 13.