With the new government in place, the 32-day-long president’s rule in the state was revoked by the President on Friday. The government will now face the confidence motion and will have to prove its majority on the floor of the state legislature, during a special session likely to start on November 10 in Mumbai.
The Union ministry of home affairs issued the notification revoking president’s rule soon after the new cabinet was sworn in. President’s rule was imposed in the state on September 28, soon after then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan submitted his resignation to the governor of Maharashtra. After the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) decided to pull out of the Congress-led government, Chavan had no option but to resign, with the government losing majority.
After winning 122 seats in the state assembly elections, one of which it lost last week with the death of a newly-elected MLA, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as single-largest party in the state, and staked claim to forming the government earlier this week. Governor C Vidyasagar Rao then initiated the process of revocation of president’s rule, inviting BJP to form the government.
On the basis of initial discussions with the state legislature, the BJP has decided to conduct a special three-day-long session from November 10 to November 13. “Since there are holidays on alternative days in the first week of November, we were advised by the legislature to hold the session in the second week. After the newly elected MLAs are sworn in on the first two days, the government will prove its majority on the third day,” said a BJP leader.
Ganpatrao Deshmukh, 88-year-old BJP leader from Sangola in Solapur who has served as MLA for 11 terms, is expected to be appointed pro-tem speaker, before the speaker for the 13th Assembly is appointed on the first day of the session. Girish Bapat, senior party leader and MLA from Kasba Peth, is likely to be elected speaker.
Since the Shiv Sena is likely to join the government, it is expected that the BJP will not find it difficult to prove its majority and pass the confidence motion on the floor of the house. The governor will then address legislators from both the houses, on the concluding day of the session.
Anil Baijal's reappointment unlikely
Questions have been asked in the state bureaucracy over whether former home secretary Anil Baijal, who was appointed as advisor to the governor during President’s rule, will now be asked to act as advisor to the chief minister. According to the sources in Mantralaya, Baijal is unlikely to continue as advisor, for several reasons.
“There is no such precedent of appointing an advisor to the chief minister. His appointment will send out a wrong signal, raising questions about the ability of the new chief minister Devendra Fadnavis,” said an officer from Mantralaya, requesting anonymity.
“His current appointment is as the advisor to the governor, and there are no signs of his reappointment by the Central government.”