Mumbai: The newly elected Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde will face the floor test on July 4. Claiming the support of 170 MLAs, Mr Shinde exuded confidence that he will win the floor test comfortably.
A special two-day Vidhan Sabha session will be held on July 3 and 4. While the all-important Speaker’s election will be held on the first day of the session, Mr Shinde will table a motion of confidence on July 4.
"The rest of the MLAs will come to Mumbai on Saturday (July 2). We’ve 170 MLAs and are increasing. We have a comfortable majority in the Assembly," said Mr Shinde on Friday.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Rahul Narwekar filed his nomination for the post of Assembly Speaker. The position has been vacant since Nana Patole of Congress resigned from the post in February last year.
The election for the Speaker has assumed significance due to the vertical split in the Shiv Sena. The Speaker is likely to play a crucial part in deciding the legislative party leader and whip of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Mr Narwekar is the son-in-law of senior NCP leader Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar. Earlier, he was a member of the Shiv Sena, which he left after the party denied him a ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. He joined the NCP and contested the general election from Maval, which he lost.
Meanwhile, though Uddhav Thackeray greeted Mr Shinde on being elected as the CM, he said the rebel leader does not belong to Shiv Sena anymore. "We don’t consider him as Sena’s CM. Without the Sena, how can he be a Sena CM?" he asked.
Earlier, he had congratulated Mr Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis by tweeting, "Best wishes to newly appointed chief minister @mieknathshinde ji and deputy chief minister @Dev_Fadnavis ji. I wish you do a good job for Maharashtra."
Continuing its legal fight against the Shinde faction, Shiv Sena has asked the Supreme Court to restrain the rebel MLAs from participating in Assembly proceedings.
"The delinquent MLAs who have been acting as pawns of the BJP, thereby committing the constitutional sin of defection, ought not to be allowed to perpetuate their sin even for a single day by permitting them to continue as members of the Assembly," Sena said in a petition to the Supreme Court on Friday.
Soon after the rebellion by the Shinde faction, Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu, who had been appointed as the chief whip by the Uddhav Thackeray supporting MLAs, moved the SC seeking the disqualification of Mr Shinde and 15 others.
The rebel MLAs then went to the Supreme Court, claiming any move to disqualify them would be illegal. The court set Monday for a hearing on the disqualification matter.
"Suspend the 16 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification proceedings are pending as an interim measure. Restrain them from participating in any of the house proceedings," Mr Thackeray’s lawyer Kapil Sibal told the SC.
"Despite the rebellion carried out by the Eknath Shinde faction, the original Shiv Sena political party remains under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, who was elected president of the Shiv Sena way back on 23.01.2018 when the organisational elections of the party were conducted and the same was communicated to the Election Commission on 27.02.2018," Team Thackeray told the Supreme Court today.
In another development, Mr Shinde’s first decision on assuming the CM’s reign was to revive the Metro car shed project in Aarey Colony in Mumbai. The project was shelved by Mr Thackeray, who had ordered the relocation of the metro car shed from Aarey to Kanjurmarg.
According to the sources, Mr Shinde has asked the state administration to direct state advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to submit in court that the Metro car shed would be built at Aarey Colony as planned in 2019 by the then BJP-led government.
Mr Thackeray slammed the move, saying he was saddened by the new government’s decision to relocate the Metro-3 car shed from Kanjurmarg to Aarey Colony in their maiden cabinet meeting.
"The government should not "project anger for me on Mumbaikars" and they should not toy with Mumbai’s environment," said Mr Thackeray.
The Maharashtra Congress said that the new government has given a blow to Mumbaikars by announcing that the Mumbai Metro car shed will be in Aarey. "Mumbaikars and environmentalists had protested against the then Fadnavis government’s decision to set up a car shed in Aarey. But by using police force, the Fadnavis government cracked down on the protesters and cut down thousands of trees overnight," said Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole....