Maharashtra focus now: Assembly speaker poll, Eknath Shinde floor test| Top 10
The Maharashtra assembly is set to elect the assembly speaker on Sunday days after Eknath Shinde took over as the new chief minister and the BJP returned to power. The MLAs - who supported his coup against his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray - returned to Mumbai on Saturday night from Goa as the state braces for another round of hectic political developments. After the speaker is elected, the Shinde government is expected to face the floor test next. The process of distribution of portfolios will also be keenly watched and the BJP is likely to keep the important ministries.
Here are top ten developments as Maharashtra sees formation of new government:
1. A two-day special session of the state assembly starts from Sunday where the members will elect the next speaker after the fall of Maha Vikas Aghadi government within 31 months. The speaker's post was vacant after the Congress's Nana Patole quit last year. Deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal was discharging duties in his capacity.
2. Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis, who is now Shinde’s deputy, held a meeting of the legislators late on Saturday night after the return of about 50 MLAs from Goa.
3. Team Shinde now includes 38 of 55 Shiv Sena MLAs, nine independents and two MLAs from another party. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 288-member state assembly.
4. BJP MLA Rahul Narvekar from Mumbai's Colaba constituency is the new coalition government’s pick for the post of speaker.
5. Against him, the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress combine has fielded Sena MLA Rajan Salvi. A whip has also been given to the legislators to be present in the assembly.
6. “We are going to Mumbai and will face the Speaker election tomorrow (Sunday). The whip (issued by Shiv Sena) is not applicable to us because we have a two-third majority,” Shinde said on Saturday before his return.
7. The first session after about two weeks of political chaos in the state is expected to be stormy. The matter of disqualification of Shinde and 15 MLAs who supported him is set to be heard in the Supreme Court on July 11.
8. Shinde has been invoking Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray ever since he launched a coup. The primary reasons for parting ways with Uddhav Thackeray, he said, were the “unnatural” alliance with Congress and the NCP.
9. Mumbai’s civic body, the BMC, is also gearing up for polls. The cash-rich body is ruled by the Shiv Sena.
10. Uddhav Thackeray had stepped down earlier this week hours after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test.