Ajit can still issue whip, says BJP

Published on Nov 26, 2019 12:11 AM IST
HT Image
HT Image

Even as the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party-Sena put up a united front by submitting a letter of 162 legislators supporting it to the Governor on Monday morning, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed it invalid. The BJP argued that deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar was the legislative party leader of the NCP and could issue a whip to all 54 of his party MLAs.

Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister on Saturday morning, with Pawar as his deputy. The BJP-led government was formed on the back of a support letter of 54 NCP MLAs submitted by Pawar. The NCP, since then, has removed Pawar and appointed state chief Jayant Patil as the leader of its legislative party.

“This letter is nothing, but a bid to mislead the public. It does not have signatures of group leaders. The Congress is yet to elect its group leader. And Ajit Pawar continues to be the leader of the NCP; he has not been removed from this post legally. He can issue a whip to NCP MLAs. The appointment of Jayant Patil as the group leader is not legal,” said BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar.

The BJP is counting on Pawar’s status as the legislative party leader of NCP to help it sail through the trust vote on the floor of the state assembly. HT has reported that two opposing whips are likely to be issued to NCP MLAs on the day of voting, which could lead to a protracted legal battle.

Former state BJP chief and Union minister Raosaheb Danve said, “The whip issued by Ajit Pawar will be applicable to all NCP MLAs. There should be no confusion about that.”

If MLAs vote against the whip, they can face disqualification proceedings under the anti-defection law.

The BJP is also hoping for a best case scenario – proving its majority on floor test by a voice vote after it elects its speaker in a secret ballot. “We are aiming to get 170-180 votes for the election of a Speaker. In a secret ballot, MLAs will vote for us as it is difficult to find out who voted against the party whip and hence there will be no fear of disqualification,” said a senior BJP leader.

However, experts said that a whip can be issued even for a secret ballot and anti-defection law applies in such a case. But they admit it is difficult to check the voting done by MLAs.

“Parties issue a whip as a deterrent in a secret ballot, but I don’t see how it can be verified. In some cases, parties devise their own method, as they know which MLAs can cross-vote. The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly rules say when there is more than one candidate for the Speaker’s post, the election is through a secret ballot,” said Anant Kalse, former principal secretary of the Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ketaki Ghoge is an associate editor with Hindustan Times. Based in Mumbai, she covers politics and governance in Maharashtra. Journalist for the last 13 years, Ketaki enjoys dicing government policies, administration and analysing politics of the day.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF) is running from August 4 to 14 this year.

    Bengaluru International Short Film Festival: theatre screening starts today

    Movie enthusiasts are in for a treat for the rest of the week as the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF) is back with theatre screenings starting today, till August 14. This is the first time in two years that patrons can attend viewings in person. There are two venues for screenings - the Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy, and the Goethe-Institut, or Max Mueller Bhavan. To register yourself for the festival, click here.

  • Concerns have increased recently over theft of two-wheelers and multiple accused have been taken into custody over this matter. (Image source: @SPBelagavi/Twitter)

    Bengaluru crime watch: Three more bike thieves held

    Police in Karnataka have succeeded in catching three more bike thieves who were involved in two separate cases. Bike theft: Chickpete traffic police, Bengaluru. August 10 A two-wheeler thief was caught by traffic police after he was stopped for not wearing a helmet. Bike theft: Belagavi. August 10 Meanwhile, in Belagavi, Kudachi police have arrested two persons for stealing bikes in various police stations limits. As many as 26 bikes have been recovered and seized.

  • The maiden Olympic games of the region were held in Manipur in October 2018. (HT photo)

    Meghalaya to host upcoming North East Olympics Games from October 30

    Meghalaya will be hosting the upcoming North East Olympics Games beginning October 30 till November 6, 2022 in Shillong. Soon after chairing a high-level meeting between the North East Organising Committee, Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs and the North East Olympic Association, sports & youth affairs minister Banteidor Lyngdoh stated that the sports selected were decided based on the availability of infrastructure and on the advice of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association.

  • The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign saw support coming in from Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka. (DEEPAK GUPTA/HT PHOTO/For Representation)

    ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign gains momentum in Karnataka

    The Bharatiya Janata Party's Karnataka unit on Tuesday took out a rally in Bengaluru in support of the central leadership's 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign in the run up to of India's 75th Independence Day. BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi along with several party workers participated in the 'Tiranga Yatra' by walking the streets with the tricolour. Not all were happy with the quality of flags.

  • The plea has challenged a March 1998 government resolution. (File image)

    Petition in Gujarat HC for SC status to Mahar community

    A petition has been filed in the Gujarat High Court by Ahmedabad based Lord Buddha Foundation seeking inclusion of the Mahar community in SC (Scheduled Caste) category. Architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar belonged to this community and they are recognised in most states of country barring Gujarat. The word Mahar is derived from the words 'Maha' which means great and 'Rashtra' means country or “people from the great country”.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now