19 Opposition MLAs suspended: With numbers on its side, Maharashtra govt averts floor test | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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19 Opposition MLAs suspended: With numbers on its side, Maharashtra govt averts floor test

With the suspension of 19 MLAs, 10 from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and nine from Congress, in the Maharashtra assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government may breathe easy should it face any majority test on the floor of the house

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2017 13:32 IST
Surendra P Gangan
NCP MLAs protest against the suspension outside Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday
NCP MLAs protest against the suspension outside Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday (Kunal Patil/HT)

With the suspension of 19 MLAs, 10 from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and nine from Congress, in the Maharashtra assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government may breathe easy should it face any majority test on the floor of the house.

If the government doesn’t revoke the suspension, the Fadnavis government will not be dependent on its ally Shiv Sena for to prove its majority in the Assembly and can rely on Independents and smaller parties.

The Opposition alleged that the nine-month suspension of its MLAs was done to avoid government defeat during a proposed cut motion to the budget. The cut motion (which demands a symbolic cut to the budget and the Opposition can demand voting on it) on a farm loan waiver would have forced the Sena to take a stand. If failed to prove the majority, the government has to resign.

With the reduction of the 19 from the total strength of the Lower House, the required number to prove the majority has slumped to 135 from 145.

“The Sena has supported the Congress and the NCP on the loan waiver issue. If the cut motion was moved and the voting demanded, the strength of Congress (42) NCP (41) and Shiv Sena (63) comes to 146 against BJP’s 131. The BJP has the support of more than eight MLAs from smaller parties and Independents, besides it own strength of 123 members. By suspending 19 opposition members, the BJP has saved itself,” said a Shiv Sena leader.

Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, the leader of opposition in the legislative assembly, said the suspension was a tactical move by the BJP to avoid the embarrassment.

This is the highest number of suspension of legislators in the last 65 years. In 1960, as many as 45 legislators were suspended on the issue of Samyukta Maharashtra (demand to include Mumbai in the state).

BJP leaders, however, ridiculed the allegations and pointed out that they don’t have to worry about the Sena since the latter is unlikely to walk out of the government considering the mood of the people in the state and the country.

Parliamentary affairs minister Girish Bapat insisted that nothing but the ruckus by the legislators led to the suspension. “Our government has the majority and the Sena is with us. We will complete our five years. The suspension has nothing to do with the so called threat to the government,” he said.

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