New Maharashtra CM Shinde must prove majority in assembly on Monday

Published on Jul 01, 2022 01:12 PM IST
The Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde was sworn in as Maharashtra chief minister late Thursday night, with the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis, reluctantly, it appeared, taking on the role of his deputy.
Eknath Shinde took oath as the new Maharashtra CM on Thursday. (File picture)
Eknath Shinde took oath as the new Maharashtra CM on Thursday. (File picture)

A special session of the Maharashtra assembly will be held on Sunday and Monday, with the focus on a 'vote of confidence' in new chief minister Eknath Shinde's government scheduled for the second day, news agency ANI said this morning. Earlier the session was set for Saturday and Sunday, but now nominations for the post of speaker will be on Saturday.

Shiv Sena's Shinde was sworn in as chief minister late Thursday night with the backing of around 50 MLAs, including 39 from his party, after a dramatic stand-off with party boss Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray resigned the day before - less than an hour after the Supreme Court said it would not stop the controversial floor test ordered by governor BS Koshyari.

The Thackeray camp - and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government that includes allies Congress and Nationalist Congress Party - was almost certain to lose that test had it been held, given the loss of 39 of 55 Sena MLAs would have dropped the alliance below the majority mark.

As things stand, Uddhav Thackeray - who was defiant as he resigned, saying that while he had been forced to quit as chief minister and legislative council member he would remain as party leader - could well lose that post as well.

READ | Not going away forever: Uddhav Thackeray's parting note as CM

Shinde has claimed that 39 on his side, his faction is the 'true' Shiv Sena.

If that is upheld in Monday's vote, then Uddhav Thackeray faces the prospect of losing control of his party. The Thackeray camp's move to disqualify Shinde and15 rebel MLAs was challenged and that hearing will only happen on July 12.

READ | Supreme Court grants rebels time till July 12 to file reply

The Sena camp led by Thackeray has only 16, with 44 and 54 with the Congress and NCP. The BJP has a 106, with the rest of the 288 seats split between smaller parties and independents.

Eknath Shinde is widely seen as having engineered the revolt after a falling out with Uddhav Thackeray over last month's legislative council polls, in which the BJP won five of 10 seats.

Shinde earlier said he would call his group Shiv Sena (Balasaheb) - a reference to late founder and patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray, who is Uddhav's father.

The claim triggered a biting retort from the son, who told his rival to 'do what you want, but don't use Balasaheb's name'.

Shinde has credited BJP leader and ex-chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was sworn in as his deputy after a 'personal request' by his party's top figures, for his win.

"People thought that the BJP was desperate for power. But truly, this is a masterstroke by Devendra ji. To hand over power to another person despite having larger numbers (of MLAs) requires a big heart," he said.

With input from ANI

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