A day after the BJP won the trust vote, the Shiv Sena and Congress stepped up their attack on the new government and sought intervention of governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
The Sena delegation met him on Thursday and demanded action be taken against the government for the manner in which the vote of confidence was passed in the Assembly.
The Congress, meanwhile, will meet Rao on Friday, requesting that the trust motion be held again, and, if not, the current government be dissolved. The party is currently examining video recording of the trust motion, as well as consulting legal experts to finalise their plans.
The Sena complained that assembly speaker Haribhau Bagde resorted to voice vote and did not grant division of votes, and hence the process was “illegal and unconstitutional”.
“We have told the governor that if the BJP needs 144 votes to prove majority, then they should tell us which MLAs backed them. I don’t think they can prove their majority, which proves the government has been formed without any Constitutional backing,” said Opposition leader Eknath Shinde.
The delegation, however, left it to the governor to take ‘relevant action’ for violating the law.
Sena party mouthpiece Saamana also attacked the BJP government, saying the promise of a people’s government with clean governance seems hollow. “The voting was a clear violation of rules and regulations and conducted in haste,” the editorial said. The views expressed in the editorial are seen as that of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. “How can a party win a trust vote like this? Is this a majority? The people of India won’t accept this,” it said.
The Congress also upped its ante. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Many are saying we were late in demanding the division of votes. This is not true, and the video recordings will prove our point.”
State party chief Manikrao Thakre said the Congress will prove to the governor how the rules were not followed. “The rules clearly state that division of votes is demanded after the trust motion is put to vote. We demanded the division even when the trust motion was tabled,” he said.
The party said a confidence motion can be tabled the very next day if needed, and the six months bar is only on a no-confidence motion.
Amid this drama Sena sources confirmed that it backchannels talks were going on between the BJP and the party leaders “We have given them time till December 8, when the next session starts. On Wednesday, we supported them for the speaker’s post. But we did not want to lose the leader of Opposition, in case our power sharing with BJP does not work out,” a Shiv Sena leader told HT.
CM Devendra Fadnavis challenged the parties to bring a no-confidence motion against his government in case they felt the BJP did not have majority. “We will prove our majority,” he said, adding that the trust vote in Maharashtra assembly has been held by voice vote since 1990.
He also criticised the Sena saying half of their MLAs were not present in the assembly when the motion was moved.
Meanwhile, minister for women and child Pankaja Munde assured the people that the BJP will not go easy on the NCP, if needed. “Our commitment is to the people. We did not go to them to ask for support, they offered it themselves. So it is clear that we won’t resist from taking any action against NCP, if they are found at fault,” she said.