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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Majority number could increase to 185 in Maharashtra assembly, claims Shiv Sena

Saturday’s floor test, which was conducted by Pro-tem Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil, was significant for the MVA government against the backdrop of an unlikely alliance forged by the three parties. They came together as the Sena severed ties with the BJP, its three-decade-old ally, after differences over sharing the chief minister’s post.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2019 12:31 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, won the floor test in the Maharashtra assembly on Saturday.
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, won the floor test in the Maharashtra assembly on Saturday. (HT Photo )
         

A couple of days after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government won the floor test with 169 votes in its favour, the Shiv Sena said on Monday that it should not be surprising if their number reaches 185 in future.

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, an alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, won the floor test in the Maharashtra assembly on Saturday amid a walkout by the members of legislative assembly (MLAs) of the opposition parties.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has 105 members, and its smaller allies had raised objections over the way in which the session was convened.

Four MLAs—two from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and one each from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Communist Party of India(Marxist)—abstained from voting.

Saturday’s floor test, which was conducted by Pro-tem Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil, was significant for the MVA government against the backdrop of an unlikely alliance forged by the three parties.

They came together as the Sena severed ties with the BJP, its three-decade-old ally, after differences over sharing the chief minister’s post.

The Shiv Sena’s senior leader Sanjay Raut had maintained that they had the support of 170 MLAs in the 288-member House.

“A majority of 170 is not ordinary and tomorrow it should not be surprising if this number reaches 185,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana on Monday.

It added that had the voting for the election of assembly Speaker happened through secret ballot, the number of MLAs in support of the ruling coalition would have increased.

It also said that the government will last for five years.

The Sena said that the support base for the BJP is eroding.

“The BJP has lost a Dalit face and the people are going away from the party. An environment has been created that the number of 105 that they have today as the opposition will be difficult to maintain,” the editorial said.

“This government has come to power through a legal route. The number of 170 will remain intact. The opposition should take care of this,” it added.

Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as the Maharashtra chief minister, along with six other ministers, on Thursday, more than a month after the election results were declared on October 24.

In between, the BJP made an unsuccessful attempt to split the NCP and got Devendra Fadnavis sworn-in as CM with senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar as his deputy.

Fadnavis and Pawar had to quit within three days, after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test, and the Sena, NCP and Congress showed that they had the support of 162 MLAs.