On the eve of the winter session, both the ruling Congress-NCP as well as the Sena-BJP-led Opposition appeared a divided house.
The Shiv Sena, which gave a notice for no-trust motion was snubbed by other Opposition parties, especially its alliance partner BJP, for not taking them into confidence first. While BJP made it clear it was not in a hurry to move such a motion, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said it was not in favour of it at present. "Given the arithmetic in the assembly, we cannot defeat the government during the trust vote. Why let the government claim a victory on the floor of the assembly and put us on the defensive?" said a top BJP leader.
At a meeting of the Opposition parties on Sunday, it was decided to fix the date for the motion later. "We have agreed on the motion but we will sit together for fixing the date for tabling it and other details,"said Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Eknath Khadse (BJP).
MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar made it clear that his party would not support the motion. "It is not an appropriate time for such a motion. If there is no faith in the government, the people of the state will decide its fate in the ensuing elections," he said and added that he made.
Subhash Desai, the Shiv Sena group leader, who submitted the motion for discussion said that it was an appropriate moment to move such a motion. "The government has no right to continue as it has failed on all fronts," he said and pointed out that by doing so, the Opposition could expose the DF government in the House.
However, he added: "We (the Opposition parties) will discuss and decide how and when to bring the motion. The Sena is still firm on the same."
In the ruling camp, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (Congress) and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar (NCP) tried to put up a show of unity when they appeared before the media after the customary tea-party. They seemed to be speaking in the same language but the uneasiness between the two parties was quite visible as Congress-NCP ministers reached state's second capital for the winter session that begins on Monday.
However, Chavan and his party are not happy that Pawar had his way with the Congress. "Chavan wanted to reinduct Pawar at the time of reshuffle after the session-- some time in January. However, Pawar insisted that he should be brought back ahead of the session," said a senior Congress minister who did not want to be named.
A large section of Congress ministers does not want Chavan to defend Pawar on the floor of the assembly when the Opposition attacks him over the irrigation scam, he added. “We have suggested to the party that Pawar should defend himself as the Congress has nothing to do with the scam,” he added.
Meanwhile Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil has called a meeting on Monday to discuss whether and when to take up the no-trust motion for discussion in the house.