Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra govt to face floor test today
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government will face its floor test on Saturday, when a special two-day sitting of the legislative assembly begins.
On Friday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former speaker Dilip Walse Patil was appointed pro-tem speaker, replacing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Kalidas Kolambkar who was appointed on the recommendation of the short-lived Devendra Fadnavis government sworn in on November 23.
Ambegaon legislator Patil, serving his seventh term, will conduct the floor test through a head count. On Sunday, the speaker of the assembly will be elected, following which Maharashtra governor BS Koshyari will address a joint session of both Houses. The Leader of the Opposition will also be appointed on December 1.
The applications for the post of the speaker need to be submitted by noon on Saturday.
As per the agreement between the coalition parties, the speaker would be from the Congress.
“It was decided (in the meeting of top leaders of the three parties) that chief minister will be from Shiv Sena, deputy CM from NCP, speaker’s post will go to the Congress party, and deputy speaker’s post to the NCP,” Ajit Pawar said, the Press Trust of India reported.
“There is no question of NCP deciding candidate for the speaker’s post,” Pawar told reporters in Mumbai.
Governor B K Koshyari had asked Thackeray to prove majority by December 3.
The Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP coaltion, Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, claims to have the support of more than 166 MLAs. All three parties are likely to issue a whip to their legislators to remain present on both days and participate in the trust vote.
The confidence motion will be moved by Congress’s Prithviraj Chavan, NCP’s Dhananjay Munde and Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu on Saturday.
“The voting will be held through head count process instead of voice vote to maintain transparency, giving no room to challenge it in court,” a senior NCP leader who attended the Business Advisory Committee of the state legislature held at Vidhan Bhavan on Friday, and who did not wish to be named, said.
To a question about cabinet expansion, set to take place after December 3, Pawar said the new CM would take a call on it.
Last Saturday, Ajit Pawar, in a surprise move, aligned with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis claiming that he had the support of NCP MLAs.
He was sworn in as deputy CM, but resigned four days later after the Supreme Court ordered the BJP-NCP government to prove its majority within a day.